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I just wanted to pass on some information to help others avoid making the same mistake that I did. I recently bought one share of Yahoo before its recent split. I thought that splits were given to any shareholder of record the day prior to the split. However, if appears that some companies, one of which was Yahoo, have a date of record (just like dividend dates of record) for splits. This means that you have to own the stock "X" date prior to the split (2-4 weeks prior?) in order to receive the split. Otherwise you are left out in the cold. I thought that I had an adequate understanding of the split from reading a press release on it. However, there was no mention of a date of record in the press release. My advise is that anyone considering purchasing a stock scheduled to split visit that company's investor relations section on the company's web site to see if there is a date of record.
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Strad,

If you bought Yahoo before the split, then you received an extra share. The date of record is of no consequence to your holdings; it only affects the paperwork.

If you own shares on the record date, you will be entitled to receive a stock certificate representing the split shares. If you purchase shares between the record date and the payable (distribution) date your broker will receive a "Due Bill" which will be exchanged for a stock certificate after the distribution date.

Either way, you take part in the split. You have not made any mistake.

Fool on!
BrianZ
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