Some companies lose money, but because their products are exciting and carry great potential, their stock prices soar. America’s Tesla, which burns through mountains of cash on its quest to revolutionize the automobile, is a prime example.
Germany’s Henkel, a 142-year-old consumer and chemicals group known for making things like toilet care products, laundry detergent and glue, is the antithesis. Its profits have lately been outstanding, but its products, while in demand, aren’t very exciting. That’s probably the reason why, despite a terrific financial performance of late, the company’s share price has stagnated.
On Thursday, Henkel’s chief executive, Hans Van Bylen, announced record revenues of €20 billion ($24.6 billion) for 2017, a 7-percent rise over the previous year. He also announced the largest dividend in the company’s history, increasing it by 10.5 percent to €1.79 per non-voting share. Despite all the good news, investors have been distinctly underwhelmed.