LANXESS stock showed an encouraging performance in the first quarter of 2014. At the beginning of February, the share price climbed to over €50, and the stock clearly outperformed Germany's lead index DAX and the benchmark index DJ STOXX 600 ChemicalsSM in the weeks thereafter. Our stock closed the quarter on March 31 with a gain of 12.9%.
The DAX reached an all-time high of 9,700 points at the beginning of the year. Fears of a rapid cutback in the expansionary monetary policy of the United States through a further reduction in bond purchases, coupled with worries about a cooling-off in the global economy, then led to some substantial declines in the lead index. As a result, the DAX had receded nearly to the 9,000 point threshold by the beginning of February. After a recovery in February, the next setback came at the beginning of March. The political conflict between Russia and Ukraine and its further escalation dampened the global stock markets and caused the DAX, too, to briefly drop back to below 9,000 points in mid-March for the first time since November 2013. Not until the final week of the reporting period did signs that the Crimea crisis was easing lead to a recovery in the markets. As a result, the DAX closed at 9,555 points on March 31, close to the year-end 2013 level (December 30, 2013: 9,552 points).
The Dow Jones STOXX 600 ChemicalsSM closed the quarter just 0.8% down at 750 points. Setbacks had caused our benchmark index to dip to near 700 points at times during the first quarter.
In January our stock at first continued the disappointing development of the previous year, sliding to €45.11, its low for the first quarter. It then rallied strongly at the end of January, driven by the corporate newsflow: LANXESS announced a change of leadership on the Board of Management, with Matthias Zachert, former Chief Financial Officer of LANXESS AG, being appointed to succeed Dr. Axel C. Heitmann as Chairman of the Board of Management. This announcement was very well received by the capital market, especially because Zachert’s previous work was judged to have been successful. Following this realignment of the Board of Management, the price of LANXESS shares rose above €50 at the beginning of February and then climbed to nearly €55. The stock began to recede again at the end of February following the announcement of impairment charges taken in the fourth quarter of 2013, mainly for the company’s synthetic rubber businesses, and also because of the adverse market environment created by the Crimea crisis. LANXESS presented its Financial Report for 2013 on March 20, announcing that EBITDA pre exceptionals came in at €735 million, within the forecasted corridor. Our stock remained above the €50 mark through the end of the reporting period, closing the first quarter on March 31 at €54.75.
Further information can be found under Highlights.
|Q4 2013||Q1 2014|
|Capital stock/no. of shares 1)||€/no. of shares||83,202,670||83,202,670|
|Market capitalization 1)||€ billion||4.03||4.56|
|High/low for the period||€||53.64/43.76||55.13/44.64|
|Closing price 1)||€||48.48||54.75|
|Trading volume||million shares||45.817||70.901|
|Earnings per share||€||(2.45)||0.30|
|1) End of quarter: Q4: December 31, 2013, Q1: March 31, 2014|