EarthLink Sets Stock Split

Internet service provider EarthLink Network Inc. today became the latest in a line of Internet companies to announce plans to split its stock.

The Pasadena, CA-based ISP said its board of directors has authorized a two-for-one stock split with a record date of July 15, 1998, and distribution of additional shares set to take place on July 20, 1998.

EarthLink (NASDAQ: ELNK) said the move will increase the number of outstanding shares from approximately 14.1 million to around 28.3 million.

The company’s stock was up over nine points to 86 13/32 in early trading today on the news.

Just last Thursday fellow ISP MindSpring Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: MSPG) made news with a three-for-one stock split that drove the company’s stock up 17% where it hit an all-time high of $96 before settling down at $94.25 to close the day.

MindSpring continued its meteoric rise in early trading today; at 11:55am EST the stock was up +4 5/8 to 107 1/2.

Earlier this week Excite’s (NASDAQ: XCIT) stock also soared into record territory after the search and navigation guide announced a two-for-one stock split.

The company said it made the decision in an effort to improve trading liquidity and extend common share ownership. Over 50 million shares were made available as a result of the split.

The portal player was also in record territory today following the move trading up +6 1/4 points to 99 3/4 at 11:41am EST.

Industry analysts expect more of the same from other leading Internet players in the near future, with Yahoo! one of the top choices to join the stock split craze next.

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