Do You Know After a Stock Split, What Happens to Certificates?

Triston Martin

Feb 13, 2024

While not often used nowadays, stock certificates were formerly a traditional way of demonstrating stock ownership. A stock certificate is a tangible piece of paper that signifies ownership in a firm. Publicly traded companies issue stock certificates. The certificates contain information on them, such as the number of held shares, the date that the shares were acquired, and an identifying number. If you are looking for an answer to After a Stock Split, What Happens to Certificates? Keep reading.

When a firm decides to split its stock, it will divide the number of shares it already has in existence into a more significant number of shares to increase its liquidity. In today's world, if you still have paper certificates, you will nonetheless be registered with the firm as a shareholder of record and receive freshly issued shares of the company's stock electronically. This is the case even if you do not own any electronic certificates.

Why are Stock Certificates Largely Unaffected by Splits?

The holder of a stock certificate is not affected by stock splits. When an investor buys stock in a corporation, the shares are hardly ever held in printed form by either the investor or the brokerage firm that the investor uses to buy the stock. As an alternative, a firm's shares are stored electronically and registered with the transfer agent. However, investors can obtain the stocks in paper form, known as stock certificates, to which they are entitled. Regardless of whether your shares are kept in electronic or paper format, the transfer agent will still recognize you as the legal owner of the securities.

It is your right as a stockholder to keep your certificates. The company's transfer agent is responsible for updating its records at the time of the separation. The extra shares will be held electronically on the transfer agent's records, and stock certificates are not typically produced at the time of a split.

Advanced Trading Strategies

A stock split has an evident influence on the majority of trading activity. If you're shorting the stock or trading options, you may be concerned about how the split may influence your transactions. Breathe if this is your situation. You're adjusting your transactions so that it does not affect your investment in either instance.


Consider first short-selling, a method in which the investor is taking on a decrease in the stock's value. Using a brokerage account, the investor borrows shares with the understanding that they will be returned at a later time. The short-seller promptly sells the borrowed shares to profit by buying back at a lower price after closing the deal.

As far as the short-seller is concerned, stock splits might be a boon to their cause on the surface. It's not as straightforward as that for short-sellers. When the stock is split, your brokerage will update your order to reflect the new, lower-priced shares. All in all, the stock split will not affect your financial situation.

Options Contracts

In the same way, the right to purchase or sell a stock at a specific price and for a predetermined amount of time is granted to holders of options. When the Options Clearing Corporation makes the necessary adjustments to the size of the contract to mirror the stock split while simultaneously lowering the strike price, the client is left in the same financial position as before.

Stock Splits 101

In most cases, the fundamental motivation for a stock split is the fact that the share price of the firm has recently begun to seem excessive. The notion that those other securities provide a superior bargain is one that even casual investors occasionally make, although this is not always the case. To counteract this notion and boost their liquidity, corporations may consider expanding their total number of shares outstanding by issuing new shares to owners. This, however, may result in a decrease in the price of the company's shares. Since the stock split, there may be more interest in the company's shares; nonetheless, investors are not in a better or worse position than before because their shares' market value has not changed.


Your stock certificates are only affected by a stock split if the value of each certificate decreases, but you get extra electronic shares. To sell your certificates, you don't need to return them or slash the corners off of them. Stock splits are often made as simple as possible for investors by companies.

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