WALL STREET: Standard: One for Four

Stocky, down-to-earth James S. Adams, 45-year-old President of Standard Brands Inc. (Fleischmann's Yeast, Royal Baking Powder, etc.) last week announced that he would ask his 115,000 common stockholders to convert every four shares they now hold into one share of new stock. Brokers raised interested eyebrows: reverse splitting had hardly been heard of on Wall Street since the dog days after the 1929 crash, when some companies used it to give their collapsing shares some semblance of dollar value.

Jim Adams' move was different: his stock is selling near its high for...

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