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The quick take on Google's stock split

Google Stock Photo

Kimihiro Hoshino/AFP/Getty Images

The Google logo is seen at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, California.

Google just announced first-quarter earnings, and they were solid, beating expectations and quickly reversing a negative trend from last quarter, when Google missed expectations. But what's more important is an announcement that, like Apple, Google is planning to return some of its rather large cash hoard to investors. And what's interesting is how Google intends to do it.

[UPDATE: A commenter, "Finance Gourmet," points out that this isn't a return of cash to shareholders, but the creation of a new class of non-voting stock distributed as a dividend. Correct! I thought Google was going to underwrite these shares out of cash, but on that front I was...confused! by the Drummond note. In fact, this whole thing is really more about retaining voting control of the company than it is about dealing with the cash issue. However, it is a reward or sorts for shareholders.]