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Investors reacted on Tuesday morning with purchases, the share price rose by 3.7 percent at the top of the Dax.
Linde has a robust balance sheet and a sustained excess liquidity, the company announced the previous evening. Therefore, there should be a new share buyback program of up to five billion US dollars. It will replace the program that runs until February 1 for up to six billion dollars, it said. Linde also announced that it would increase the quarterly dividend by 10 percent to US $ 1.06 per share.
The quarterly dividend is above the consensus estimate of the market, wrote Commerzbank analyst Fabian Semon in a study on Tuesday. On the subject of share buybacks, he decided that Linde could afford to continue.
The world’s largest industrial gases company has recently done good business despite the corona pandemic. After the targets were initially capped in May, the DAX group raised the bar for annual profit after a profit increase in the third quarter at the beginning of November. Linde is now targeting earnings per share adjusted for one-off effects of $ 8.05 to $ 8.10, which corresponds to an increase of 12 percent after adjusting for currency effects. Management had also announced a profit increase for the fourth quarter. Linde plans to present its annual figures on February 5.
The competitor of the French Air Liquide supplies the automotive, oil, chemical and metal industries as well as food manufacturers and hospitals. Linde generates the lion’s share of sales and profits in the Americas region, with a good 20 percent each coming from Europe and Asia.
In the future, the group intends to significantly expand its hydrogen business. Linde claims that it currently has sales of more than two billion dollars in the production, sale, storage and use of hydrogen. Linde hopes to quadruple business in the future. Hydrogen will be the first to prevail, especially with large means of transport such as trucks, trains, ferries and buses.
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Image sources: Linde