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Shareholders OK Coca-Cola stock split

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shareholders have approved The Coca-Cola Co.'s first stock split in 16 years.

The Atlanta-based company announced the two-for-one split in April, citing its expectation to double revenue over this decade.

The split increases the number of Coca-Cola shares to 11.2 billion from 5.6 billion. Shareholders will receive one additional share of stock on Aug. 10 for each share held.

Companies split stocks when they think their share price has gotten too expensive or if the stock is trading too far above similar companies' stock. Stock splits can also help companies with liquidity because the share price usually benefits from a bump immediately following the split.

The average share price in the S&P 500 is currently about $56, according to Standard & Poor's. That's up from $37 in 1980. Coca-Cola's stock was trading up 4 cents at $78.02 in midmorning trading Tuesday after rising as high as $78.54 earlier in the session. Its shares rose to a 52-week high of $79.36 a week ago.

Shares of the Atlanta-based company began trading in 1919. Since then, the company's stock has been split 10 other times.