Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA
+49 (0) 6172 608-2485
We propose the 26th consecutive dividend increase. The financial markets are currently in a highly sensitive phase. In this market environment, the Group’s outlook for 2018 and the adjustment of the medium-term targets have significantly impacted the Fresenius share price.
In 2018, the weak stock market year was marked by nervousness and uncertainty among investors. The trade conflict between China and the United States, the Brexit negotiations, the sharp rise in interest rates, especially in the United States, and concerns about Italy’s budget were the dominant issues in 2018.
The DAX decreased by 18%; the EURO STOXX 50 lost 14% for the year. The STOXX Europe 600 index ended the year down by 13%. In this index, the subsector STOXX Europe 600 Health Care decreased by 3%. The leading U.S. indices performed as follows: the S & P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average both decreased by 6%.
The closing price for the Fresenius share on December 31, 2018, was €42.38 and thus 35% below the closing price of 2017.
The market capitalization of Fresenius was €23.6 billion as of December 31, 2018, a decrease of 35% compared to the previous year. The average daily trading volume on Xetra increased by 42% to 1,648,837 Fresenius shares compared to the previous year (2017: 1,164,824). DAX trading volume increased by 14% in the same comparison time period.
Despite the share price decline in 2018, Fresenius shares remain an attractive investment. Anyone who invested €1,000 ten years ago and reinvested the dividends would have increased their capital to €3,938 as of December 31, 2018. That is an average annual return of 13% (before expenses and taxes).
In the United States, Fresenius has a Sponsored Level I American Depositary Receipt (ADR) program. In this program, four Fresenius ADRs correspond to one Fresenius share. The ADRs are traded in the OTCQX International Premier market segment.
The total number of issued shares at the end of 2018 was 556,225,154 (December 31, 2017: 554,710,473 shares). The increase is due to the exercise of options in accordance with stock option plans. Information on stock option plans can be found in the Notes.
|Number of shares||556,225,154||554,710,473||547,208,371||545,727,950||541,532,600|
|Stock exchange quotation1 in €|
|Market capitalization2 in million €||23,573||36,095||40,636||36,002||23,373|
|Total dividend distribution in million €||445.03||416.0||343.1||300.2||238.3|
|Dividend per share in €||0.803||0.75||0.62||0.55||0.44|
|Earnings per share in €4||3.37||3.28||2.85||2.64||2.01|
In 2018, Fresenius again delivered solid financial results. For the 26th consecutive year, we are proposing to our shareholders to increase the dividend – by 7% per share, to €0.80 (2017: €0.75). The proposed dividend distribution to the shareholders of Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA will be €445 million, equivalent to 24% of Group net income. Based on the proposed dividend and the closing price at the end of 2018, the dividend yield is 1.9%.
The charts below show the shareholder structure at the end of 2018. The Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung was the largest shareholder of Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA, with 26.3% of the shares. According to notifications pursuant to the German Securities Trading Act (WpHG), Allianz Global Investors GmbH and BlackRock, Inc. held about 5% of the shares, each. For further information on notifications, please visit www.fresenius.com/shareholder-structure.
As of December 31, 2018, a shareholder survey identified the ownership of about 94% of our subscribed capital. The shareholder base of Fresenius is solid: a total of approximately 620 institutional investors held about 350 million shares or 63% of the subscribed capital; 28.8 million shares were identified as retail holdings. The 10 largest investors held about 22% of the share capital. Our shares were mostly held by investors in Germany, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
The recommendations published by financial analysts are an important guide for institutional and private investors when making investment decisions. According to our survey, as of February 12, 2019, we were rated with 11 “buy”, 8 “hold”, and no “sell” recommendations.
The list of banks that provide regular analyst coverage of Fresenius and their latest recommendations can be found at www.fresenius.com/analysts-and-consensus.
Our investor relations activities are in accordance with the transparency rules of the German Corporate Governance Code. We communicate comprehensively, promptly, and openly with private and institutional investors, as well as financial analysts. The equal treatment of all market actors is very important to us.
We intensified our dialog with the capital markets in 2018. In addition to its conference calls and webcasts, Fresenius gave presentations in major European, U.S., Canadian and Asian financial markets. We expanded our contacts with institutional investors and analysts at 21 international investor conferences, 26 roadshows, and in numerous one-on-one meetings. We also organized field trips with banks, giving investors and analysts the opportunity to discuss matters with the Management Board.
The Fresenius investor relations team and the management team were recognized in the results of the Extel Survey, a broad survey conducted by the company Thomson Reuters, which annually surveys some 15,000 investors and analysts on various aspects of good investor relations. On this occasion, the Fresenius investor relations team was honored as the best in the MedTech sector in Europe.
In addition, “Institutional Investor” honored Fresenius for the best investor relations work in the health care sector in Europe. Furthermore, the management and investor relations team received the “Investor Darling” award for the best financial communication of DAX companies from “Manager Magazin”.
We also continued the dialog with our private investors, especially via the Internet. In addition, we participate in private shareholder events. At www.fresenius.com/events-and-presentations our private shareholders can follow live webcasts of the conference calls and can use our continuously increased information offer on our website and social media channels.
For additional information visit us at www.fresenius.com/investors.