Reader Mail: Does Citigroup's Reverse Stock Split Signal Sell?

Posted by: Lauren Young on August 28, 2009

Here’s one from the reader mailbag. What’s your advice for this reader on Citigroup’s (C) reverse stock split?

I need some advice. My husband and I are a young newly married couple and we invested in Citigroup when it was 3.50 and bought 1350 shares. Will this split be a positive turnout, or should I take my little earnings and run? We don’t need the money at this time, but I would also hate to see it flush down the drain. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!! Please…..help.

See my earlier BusinessWeek story on reverse stock splits for some additional background.

Reader Comments

EW

August 28, 2009 2:04 PM

What split? There has yet to be a decision plus they need shareholder approval to consider. What shareholder in their right mind would authorize that?

Joseph Smith

August 28, 2009 2:33 PM

Dont let the reverse split fool you? while these events are noteworthy to some investors and attract some eyballs ive always viewed them as somewhat meaningless. if you currently have 1350 shares at todays price of $5.26 and citi does a hypothetical reverse split, you'll have 675 shares at $10.52 but you wont make any more or less money off the split because the market cap will not change. More importantly you have a nice gain from your inital investment and it never hurts to take some profits.

FRED

August 28, 2009 3:04 PM

Reverse Means BACKWARDS

YIN TSE

August 28, 2009 3:13 PM

I have 40,000 shares, I bought them in early March at much lower price and now John Paulson just bought 2% of C. Why sell? The higher price is yet to come. Those Wall Street guru always trash C and BAC because they said that the tax payers own them too. Since the gov. on the Board. You know gov does not allow to pay those guys millions and millions a year. You and me work just as hard as they do. How come they get pay so much? The President of the United States does not get pay that much. Why should they? I hold my shares for a long run.

Byron Harvey

August 28, 2009 3:19 PM

Don't fear a split. Look what happened with AIG. Post split price for the stock should have been about $23. The stock cratered but nothing financially happened. It was irrational. Knowing that, I started buying in at an average share price of $12. Look where the stock is today. Just over $50. I've got a nice grin on my face. If Citi's stock tanks after a split, and there's no bad news to support the drop, start buying. I know I will. I currently own Citi and am sitting on a nice gain. I'm going to hold this one for the long haul, though. I think in a few years it will be in the $30 to $40 range.

john

August 28, 2009 3:37 PM

God bless C

Michael Wein

August 28, 2009 4:05 PM

What all that has been said before I print this appears true (if a fact) or correct (if a theory), I think that the reverse split WILL help the corporation and its stock price. What it WILL do is enable many prospective stock purchasers to purchase stock for two major reasons. Right now, Citibank appears to be close to a "penny stock" (read, too speculative). In addition, it may also be too low a price to allow certain potential big buyers (read, mutual funds, etc.) to buy into it now as various restrictions may apply that forbids buying such a low-priced stock. So, while the split does not change your (or my actual share of the intrinsic corporate value that we own), more likely than not, it will impact the stock price favorably and change the value of our shares. For instance, if we own 10,000 shares at $5.00, the holding is worth $50,000. If there is a reverse split of 1 for 10, in theory we would THEN own 1000 shares each worth $50.00. Theoretically, there is no change. BUT, and this is the case more often than not, the 1000 shares SHOULD (no guarantee here, though) be valued at something in excess of the $50.00 in my example, possibly $50.01 or anything above that.

I wish us BOTH good luck, but long term, this investment should work out quite well.

Bill_

August 28, 2009 5:19 PM

Smoke and mirrors to fool the "intellectuals" among us.

Chris

August 28, 2009 5:41 PM

A reverse split means what most here have said, HOWEVER....according to most analysts a reverse split is usually not a good thing, especially if the company is forced into the reverse.Per Investopedia.com a comany does this to make the stock seem more valuable even though NOTHING at the company has changed. Many times this is done to keep shares above the $5 mark where mutual fund managers will again look at the stock for purchase.
Remember....nothing has changed at the comany so is the stock worth more just because there is less of it??
I bought 500 shares at $1.03...and will say goodbye and fare ye well at the $5.665 mark! Take your 71% profit and hope all your investments return that well in 4 months

Kevin

August 28, 2009 10:09 PM

The way I see it. The big boys will only buy stocks above a certain price because we can't. We can buy 10,000 shares when it's a dollar, we can't when it's 30. And then the blocks at 500,000! Price to them doesn't matter. The fact that we could buy the stock did.

zyaada

August 28, 2009 11:32 PM

The reverse stock split is a great confidence building measure and will bring new investors although not as successful as AIG. The price will continue to rise back as heath is restored.

John

August 29, 2009 3:27 PM

The banks can't seem to find out which they want to go :)

James

August 29, 2009 4:50 PM

As many are saying on the board, the reverse-split is a non-event. However, I beileve there can be some significant upside albeit primarily because of 'perception'. In other words, most of the public will perceive Citibank being a stronger/more attractive stock at $50 (versus $5 dollars) but we all know that's not the case. Fundamentally nothing has changed. Oh, one final note? The number of shares traded (float) will be significantly reduced so this could mean some 'wild' upswings both up and down. I'm betting that we'll see the stock price increase at leas t 25% once any reverse-split announcement has been made. Thereafter, who knows how high we'll go?

Reverse-Stock guru

August 30, 2009 5:06 AM

BEWARE !!

I had AIG stock and it took a 1-20
reverse split in June. I lost 3/4
of my investment...ever when the stock
went above $20.

Citibank now plans to do the same.
Even if they do a 1-10 reverse split
(they've also suggested a 1-20, and 1-30 split) you will lose...BIG!

When you hear the words reverse-split
on Wall Street...run for the door.

It's an easy way for a company to
rob you of your profits... legally!

BEWARE !!

Rockon

September 2, 2009 6:13 AM

Hi...
The big boys will only buy stocks above a certain price because we can't. We can buy 10,000 shares when it's a dollar, we can't when it's 30. And then the blocks at 500,000! Price to them doesn't matter. The fact that we could buy the stock did.

http://investmentloss.net/

j

September 4, 2009 12:43 AM

a reverse split is the worst thing that can happen to a stock, period! say after the reverse split the stock goes is 35, 1 to 7 split. do you really think citi is going much above 35?
to 50, 60 no way!!! what's more, shorts will push this right back down to %5 and they we are all screwed. this happens 95 percent of the time. aig is rare and will not happen here. i am selling all my shares prior to the split. this company are idiots and should know this will cause the stock to tank and after reading the comments above i now understand what idiots voted approval for this. you people dont understand how bad a reverse split is and how limited upside you have, with less shares, i may add. good luck!

CL

September 10, 2009 7:43 AM

Is the reverse split confirmed now?

Joe H

September 12, 2009 2:28 PM

reverse split = keep the common working joe from buying our stock.

From 1 dollar to 4.5 in 5 months is damn good for any company.

Selling for 30 bucks per share means i cannot buy anymore - so i'm out when the split happens.

If they go thru with it - i wish them the best at there new 30 bucks per share dropping back down to a buck again.

aa

September 13, 2009 10:13 PM

J you forgot about dividends,
getting dividends on 10.000 verses
1.000 shares ....., idiots is rights

Reverse-Stock Guru

September 22, 2009 8:18 AM

I warned you in August...

Singapore Govt. fund today
dumped half their Citi stock...

Another sign the reverse-split
is coming...

Good luck.

BW

October 22, 2009 12:52 PM

Good Lord People,

I am so tired of hearing all the hype over who gets paid more then you! Honestly, I feel people should just shut up with worrying who is making more then you!

Should an Icecream scooper make as much as a Doctor?
Should a CEO be scrutinized because some one who did not get educated at works as a Sanitation worker?

We have free choice in this country, you can be what ever you want to be. It is up to you to make that choice . If you are so upset at what bank CEO makes in earnings, and you feel unjustified that you dont make that amount cause you may work as a janitor, THEN GO TO SCHOOL and GET a degree in Finance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am so annoyed by this!

I see more people whining and complaining about these people who make more cause its not equal. PLEASE !

The energy and time people spend complaining could be used to go to school , seek a better job etc.

Wow amazingly no one was upset at Wall Street Pay , when every one who knew crap about house flipping or finance went and took extravagant home loans so they could flip a house fast and make money...

I remember back in 2003, people were higher then kites
with their high credit card limits and courageous home loans that were more then they could ever earn in their life time.

Ten these very same people blamed the banks when the market went belly up.

What this shows is how ignorant the general main St population really is over finance! And makes you look quite stupid !

I teach my kids everything about finance and I teach them never to be envious who has more or earns more. Rather I teach them to learn how to make more and be ambitious

Success and Jealousy do not mix, jealousy and complaining only leads to lack!!!!!!!!!!!

I am more angry at people who stay in poverty
over those making millions

In America Poverty is a choice,

I know because I came from a poverty family
I had nothing more then the 15k a year earner
I got out !

BW

October 22, 2009 2:37 PM

Good Lord People,

I am so tired of hearing all the hype over who gets paid more then you! Honestly, I feel people should just shut up with worrying who is making more then you!

Should an Icecream scooper make as much as a Doctor?
Should a CEO be scrutinized because some one who did not get educated at works as a Sanitation worker?

We have free choice in this country, you can be what ever you want to be. It is up to you to make that choice . If you are so upset at what bank CEO makes in earnings, and you feel unjustified that you dont make that amount cause you may work as a janitor, THEN GO TO SCHOOL and GET a degree in Finance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am so annoyed by this!

I see more people whining and complaining about these people who make more cause its not equal. PLEASE !

The energy and time people spend complaining could be used to go to school , seek a better job etc.

Wow amazingly no one was upset at Wall Street Pay , when every one who knew crap about house flipping or finance went and took extravagant home loans so they could flip a house fast and make money...

I remember back in 2003, people were higher then kites
with their high credit card limits and courageous home loans that were more then they could ever earn in their life time.

Ten these very same people blamed the banks when the market went belly up.

What this shows is how ignorant the general main St population really is over finance! And makes you look quite stupid !

I teach my kids everything about finance and I teach them never to be envious who has more or earns more. Rather I teach them to learn how to make more and be ambitious

Success and Jealousy do not mix, jealousy and complaining only leads to lack!!!!!!!!!!!

I am more angry at people who stay in poverty
over those making millions

In America Poverty is a choice,

I know because I came from a poverty family
I had nothing more then the 15k a year earner
I got out !

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About

Bloomberg Businessweek’s Ben Steverman focuses on the latest moves in financial markets and emerging trends in stocks, bonds, and funds, always with an eye toward giving readers a better understanding of the sometimes confusing and often chaotic world of money. Standard & Poor’s senior index analyst Howard Silverblatt will also provide his take on companies’ finances and the markets. Voted one of the “Top 100 Finance Blogs” in 2007.

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