REDMOND, Wash. (AP) _ Software giant Microsoft Corp. said today it will split its stock 2-for-1.

The stock split will double the number of shares to 2.4 billion, but halve the value of a share. The company had 1.2 billion shares on average, as of Dec. 31.

The new shares will be issued Feb. 20 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 6, Dow Jones News Service reported.

The stock split will make the company's stock ``more accessible,'' chief financial officer Gregory B. Maffei said.

Last week, the company announced record profits for the quarter ended Dec. 31, beating analysts' expectations. However, Microsoft warned that Asia's financial crisis could begin hurting revenues over the next six months.

In morning trading, shares of Microsoft were at $139.75, up $1.50, or about 1 percent on the Nasdaq Stock Market.