USA Nets to split stock

Move effective Feb. 24

Barry Diller’s USA Networks gave its shares a boost Thursday, announcing a two-for-one stock split effective Feb. 24.

The split, which doubles the number of outstanding shares and cuts their price in half, gives all USA stockholders as of Feb. 10 one extra share for each one in hand. Shares tend to climb in price after a split, leaving holders better off then they were before.

After the split, the company, which owns the USA and Sci Fi cable channels, USA Films, the Home Shopping Network, Ticketmaster and a handful of other assets, will have 487 million common shares outstanding and 211 million class B common shares outstanding.

USA shares rose nearly 3% to $53.56.

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