Profits: Splits & Superlatives

Nothing gladdens a stockholder's heart like a split, and last week five major U.S. corporations announced splits. They were IBM, Philip Morris, United Air Lines, Standard Brands and Socony Mobil. For IBM, the three-two split of shares now at 497 was the tenth since 1926; it meant that an investor who bought 100 shares for $2,750 when IBM was founded 52 years ago would now have 19,231 shares worth $9,557,800, along with $586,300 in dividends. Speaking of dividends, such corporations as Borden Co., Olin Mathieson and American Tobacco raised theirs last week...