Persistent and High Volatility in Stock Markets
Gains and relatively steady growth among the international stock exchanges marked the year 2017. In contrast, the year under review was characterized by substantial fluctuations and falling share prices. Political uncertainties, international trade conflicts and the interest-rate reversal in the United States caused high volatility that also affected the leading German stock index. Although the DAX reached an all-time high of more than 13,500 points in January 2018, it fell considerably during the following months and finished the 2018 stock-market year down 18.3% at 10,559 points. The MDAX dropped 17.6% and the German technology index TecDAX, to which the Sartorius preference shares also belong, declined 4.3%. The index relevant to the biotech industry, NASDAQ Biotechnology, registered a drop of 9.3%.
Sartorius Shares Rise Substantially; Added to MDAX
The prices of both classes of Sartorius AG shares developed positively in spite of the volatile stock exchanges. Contributing factors included the announcement of medium-term financial targets for 2025, better-than-expected business performance halfway through 2018 and the inclusion of our preference share in various indices. Our preference share finished the 2018 stock-market year at a closing price of €108.90 – up 36.9% year on year. The ordinary share price rose by 27.3%, closing at €96.00.
The preference share joined the MDAX in September 2018 as part of the German Stock Exchange’s reorganization of its index structure; it has additionally been listed on the TecDAX since 2012. At the end of 2018, the share certificates on the MDAX were in 15th place in terms of market capitalization and ranked 32nd per trading volume. And on the TecDAX, the share certificates finished last year 8th in terms of market capitalization (2017: 8th) and 13th with respect to trading volume (2017: 14th). In addition, the MSCI Germany Index added our share certificates in May 2018.
Facts about the Shares
|ISIN||DE0007165607 (ordinary shares)|
|DE0007165631 (preference shares)|
|Designated sponsor||Oddo Seydler Bank AG | M.M.Warburg & Co. (AG & Co.) KGaA|
|Market segment||Prime Standard|
|Indexes||MDAX | TecDAX | HDAX | CDAX | MSCI World | MSCI Europe | MSCI Germany | STOXX Europe 600|
|Stock exchanges||Xetra | Frankfurt | Hanover | Dusseldorf | Munich | Berlin | Hamburg | Bremen | Stuttgart|
|Number of shares||74,880,000 no-par individual share certificates with a calculated par value of €1 per share|
|Of which||37,440,000 ordinary shares|
|37,440,000 preference shares|
|Of which shares outstanding||34,212,224 ordinary shares|
|34,176,068 preference shares|
Trading Volume and Share Price Development
|2018||2017||Change in %|
|Preference share in € (Xetra year-end closing price)||108.90||79.54||36.9|
|Ordinary share in € (Xetra year-end closing price)||96.00||75.42||27.3|
|Market capitalization in millions of €1)||7,006.1||5,298.7||32.2|
|Average daily trading volume of preference shares||107,761||82,434||30.7|
|Average daily trading volume of ordinary shares||2,153||1,605||34.1|
|Trading volume of preference shares in millions of €||3,571.1||1,655.0||115.8|
|Trading volume of ordinary shares in millions of €||61.3||30.0||104.3|
|Total trading volume in millions of €||3,632.4||1,685.0||115.6|
|TecDAX (Jahresschlusskurse XETRA)||1,960.7||2,529.0||–22.5|
|MDAX (XETRA year-end closing price)||21,588.0||26,200.7||–17.6|
|DAX (Jahresschlusskurse XETRA)||10,559.0||12,917.6||–18.3|
1) without treasury shares
Sources: Bloomberg, Deutsche Börse AG
Sartorius Shares1) in €
January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2018
1) Sartorius share prices from January 1, 2014, to June 13, 2016, adjusted for stock split
Sartorius Shares in Comparison to the DAX, MDAX, TecDAX and NASDAQ Biotechnology Index
January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2018
Market Capitalization and Trading Volume
The market capitalization of Sartorius AG ordinary and preference shares rose by around 32% in the reporting year and – as of December 31, 2018 – stood at €7.0 billion, up from €5.3 billion in 2017.
The average number of preference shares traded daily on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Xetra and trading floor) increased substantially during the year under review from 82,434 to 107,761 shares. The respective trading volume rose even more strongly in the reporting year, reaching €3.6 billion, up from €1.7 billion a year earlier.
Due to the low free float of Sartorius’ ordinary shares, they are traded only to a limited extent. Thus, the average number of ordinary shares traded daily was 2,153 compared with 1,605 the previous year. The corresponding trading volume was around €61.3 million (2017: €30.0 million).
Sartorius investor relations activities follow the objective of making the current and future development of the company transparent for its stakeholders. To achieve this objective, Sartorius maintains an ongoing, open dialog with shareholders, potential investors and financial analysts.
Besides providing quarterly, first-half and annual reports, we inform the capital market and the interested public at quarterly teleconferences and in regularly published press releases about the current development of our business and other material events at the company. Moreover, Group management and our IR team were present for talks and factory tours with capital-market participants at our sites in Göttingen, Germany and Aubagne, France. Management and IR specialists also took part at conferences and roadshows in various financial centers. In February 2018, our Group`s headquarter hosted a capital market day, with a focus on discussing our medium-term financial targets for 2025. Manager Magazin and the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management awarded Sartorius an Investors’ Darling Prize in September 2018 in recognition of our financial-market communications; we finished third among TecDAX companies. Our IR team also came in third among competitors in the German technology index for the German Investor Relations Award, which the industry association DIRK issues every year based on data from surveying capital-market participants.
All information and publications about our company and its shares are available on our website at www.sartorius.com.
The assessments and recommendations of financial analysts serve as an important foundation for the decisions of private and institutional investors when acquiring shares. During the reporting year, we maintained an ongoing dialog with a total of eighteen institutes.
|Date||Institute||Price target in €||Recommendation|
|Jan. 31, 2019||Commerzbank||133.00||Hold|
|Jan. 30, 2019||Kepler Cheuvreux||107.00||Sell|
|Jan. 30, 2019||M.M. Warburg||145.00||Buy|
|Jan. 30, 2019||Metzler||128.00||Hold|
|Jan. 30, 2019||Janney||140.00||Hold|
|Jan. 29, 2019||Mainfirst||140.00||Buy|
|Jan. 29, 2019||Berenberg||110.00||Hold|
|Jan. 29, 2019||UBS||142.00||Buy|
|Oct. 24, 2018||AlphaValue||118.00||Sell|
|Oct. 24, 2018||DZ Bank||92.00||Sell|
|Oct. 24, 2018||Hauck & Aufhäuser||105.00||Hold|
|Oct. 24, 2018||LBBW||120.00||Hold|
|Oct. 23, 2018||Deutsche Bank||115.00||Hold|
|Oct. 18, 2018||HSBC||99.00||Sell|
|Jul. 27, 2018||Oddo BHF||109.00||Sell|
|Jul. 26, 2018||EQUI.TS||125.00||Hold|
|Jul. 26, 2018||Nord LB||80.00||Sell|
The Sartorius Group strives to enable its shareholders to participate appropriately in the company’s success and has continuously raised dividends over the past years. Our dividend policy is basically oriented toward distributing an approximately stable share of relevant net profit (see definition on page 36) to our shareholders.
The Supervisory Board and the Executive Board will submit a proposal to the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting on March 28, 2019, to pay dividends of €0.62 per preference share and €0.61 per ordinary share for fiscal 2018.
If approved, the dividend would increase for the ninth consecutive year and the total profit distributed would rise by a considerable 41.1%, from €34.5 million last year to €x million. The corresponding dividend payout ratio would be on the previous year`s level of 24.0 %. Based on the 2018 year-end prices, this would result in a dividend yield of 0.6% for ordinary shares (previous year: 0.7%) and 0.6% for preference shares (previous year: 0.6%). Treasury shares held by the company are not entitled to dividend payments.
Sartorius AG’s issued capital comprises 37,440,000 million ordinary shares and the same number of preference shares, each with a calculated par value of €1 per share. A good 50% of the ordinary shares are held by the Sartorius families and are under the management of an executor. Approximately 5% are held directly by members of the Sartorius families, and some 9% are owned as treasury shares by the corporation itself. According to a mandatory announcement published in 2011, the U.S. company Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc. held approximately 30% of the ordinary shares at that time; based on the most recent information available, the company now holds around 34%. To our knowledge, the remaining approximately 2% of the ordinary shares are in free float.
Around 91% of the company's preference shares are in free float; roughly 9% are held as treasury shares by the corporation.
Key Figures for Sartorius Shares1)
|Ordinary shares2) in €||Reporting date||96.00||75.42||72.80||78.50||24.50|
|Preference shares2) in €||Reporting date||108.90||79.54||70.50||60.11||25.31|
|Market capitalization3) in millions of €||7,006.1||5,298.7||4,900.1||4,740.1||1,698.3|
|Dividend per ordinary share4) in €||0.61||0.50||0.45||0.38||0.27|
|Dividend per preference share4) in €||0.62||0.51||0.46||0.38||0.27|
|Total dividends4) 5) in millions of €||42.1||34.5||31.1||25.8||18.2|
|Payout ratio4) 6) in %||24.0||24.0||23.5||24.0||24.7|
|Dividend yield per ordinary share7) in %||0.6||0.7||0.6||0.5||1.1|
|Dividend yield per preference share7) in %||0.6||0.6||0.7||0.6||1.1|
1) Share prices and dividends for 2014 to 2015 adjusted for stock split; rounded values
2) Xetra daily closing price
3) Without treasury shares
4) For 2018, amounts suggested by the Supervisory Board and the Executive Board of Sartorius AG
5) Calculated on the basis of the number of shares entitled to dividends
6) Based on the relevant net profit: net profit adjusted for extraordinary items and non-cash amortization, based on the normalized financial result, including the corresponding tax effects
7) In relation to the closing price in the year concerned