Hey tiglet, while in the real world splits don't affect a company's business prospects, fundamentals etc., I can appreciate the emotional "value" of such an event. Splits make people feel good...of course, usually a stock must have appreciated to warrant a split and that appreciation is what really makes me feel good (and of course rising dividends). I'm long CL.... yippee! I'l now get approx twice as many shares when I reinvest my divs.
Why would anyone prefer dividends instead of price appreciation? I'd rather they used those profits to buy back shares and raise the shareholders' relative stake in the company. All else equal, the share price would rise and shareholders would see the same return on their investment. Difference is that dividends are a taxable event, just like selling shares, but with no control over the timing. People who need the income could sell a few shares each quarter. Transaction costs are very small these days.