When browsing Google News today, I came across a story posted on the Associated Press by Candice Choi—“Coca-Cola Recommends First Stock Split Since 1996.” This intrigued me, but it also reminded me of that old Van Heflin-Barbara Stanwyck movie, B.F.’s Daughter, a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film released in 1948.
Okay, so I wasn’t born until 1959, but I love old movies and this was indeed one of my favorites. My father also loved old movies so when I was in my teens, we watched every John Wayne movie on television and he too loved Stanwyck and Alice Faye.
While I didn’t think much of these movies watching them with my Dad, I do appreciate them now and am thankful every day for Turner Classic Movies (TMC)—all old movies, all the time with no commercials!
First off, according to the AP story, Coca-Cola wants to offer the split to help double revenues in the next ten years. This is a biggie for Coca-Cola since it’s only done this ten times since it went public in 1919.
According to the AP story, “Companies split stocks when they think their share price has gotten too expensive or if the stock is trading too far above similar companies’ stock.”
So, if the shareholders agree, instead of 5.6 billion shares to buy, there would be 11.2 billion shares. Currently, the price of one Coca-Cola share is around $75 buckaroos. I guess the more shares to buy, the better right?
If I owned a bunch of shares in Coca-Cola, would I get first pick on buying more? And, I’d want a discounted price—no $75 for me. I’ll cut that in half like the split and pay $35. The stock market confuses me—there I said it. Another part of the story stated, “…single shares purchased in 1919 for $40 would be worth more than 9,000 shares and $341,545 today.”
Okay, help me out here smart people (yes Linda this means you—oops inside joke). How do “single shares” go to “9,000 shares”? If I buy one apple today and never ever again buy another apple, won’t my total owned apples be one?
The reason I enjoy the Coca-Cola story so much is because it reminded me I have B.F.’s Daughter recorded on my DVR so I put in on, watched a few minutes of it and then kept it on so I could hear it in the background while I worked.
“Oh Bob,” screamed Polly, “Daddy’s going to declare a dividend!”
Bob is Bob Tasmin, the fiancé of Polly Fulton (B.F.’s Daughter played by Stanwyck) and while she really shouldn’t have told fiancé Bob about the dividend, she did anyway. Why? What rich gal married to a climbing-the-ladder fiancé wouldn’t want to offer him insider secrets he could pass on to his bosses to help him climb the ladder a little faster?
Well, B.F. (played by Charles Coburn) didn’t offer a dividend but of course not to upset daughter Polly, he said he could if it would help Bob! But of course Bob isn’t that kind of guy—he’s climbing the corporate ladder the old-fashioned way—by earning it.
All goes along well for Polly until she and her friend Apples—isn’t that an awesome name—Apples, go to a what we would now call a bar and grill and Polly meets Thomas Brett (Van Heflin). He’s an economics educator and lecturer and she and he; well, let’s just say fiancé Bob gets booted out of the picture real fast.
But Tom Brett isn’t rich and Polly is and Tom hates B.F. because he’s rich and Tom is poor and Tom’s friend Martin Ainsley who hosts an “I-never-get-the-story-right” radio show hates B.F. even more and talks about him all the time. Whew, get it?
But Polly marries Tom anyway. They do end up living happily ever after but there are some hiccups along the way like Tom’s dislike for Polly’s must-have-everything-I-can-afford lifestyle.
So, from just reading Coca-Cola’s stock split story, it reminded me of “Oh Bob, Daddy’s going to declare a dividend!”
Yeah, I know these two things are not the same. I get it. But man, what a great movie and by the by, can someone help me out here on the stock stuff?
P.S. Please don’t send me angry comments about how stupid I am when it comes to the stock market. I know this is a Business Facts and Fiction blog, but where on the top of my blog do you see the words “stock market?” Read them again, they say “business, politics and government.” So no picking on me!
B.F.'s Daughter Move - Amazon
Coca-Cola Logo - Brands of the World/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain