KION shares

Equity markets under pressure – KION shares fall sharply

The equity markets saw prices plummet in the first six months of 2022. This was predominantly due to the war in Ukraine, which caused prices to slide even further in February owing to the fundamental shift in the geopolitical situation. Moreover, the factors already weighing on the markets deteriorated markedly, including rising inflation and the substantial problems and disruptions in supply chains. The inflation rates reached during the reporting period prompted the central banks to abandon their expansionary monetary policy, thereby piling additional pressure on the equity markets. The DAX ended the first half of the year at 12,783.77 points, which equates to a loss of 19.5 percent. The MDAX dropped by 26.5 percent in the period ended June 30, 2022, closing at 25,823.45 points.

KION shares fell at an even sharper rate, declining by 59.0 percent to close at €39.59 on June 30, 2022. This was partly attributable to the tense geopolitical situation and the markets’ resulting concerns about a recession. The share price was also adversely affected by the KION Group’s withdrawal of its outlook on April 4 – combined with lower earnings expectations – and a changed risk situation with respect to procurement. At the end of June 2022, market capitalization stood at €5.2 billion, of which €2.8 billion was attributable to shares in free float.

Share price performance in the first half of 2022 compared with the DAX and MDAX

Share price performance in the first half of 2022 compared with the DAX and MDAX (line chart)

Record dividend approved

KION GROUP AG’s 2022 Annual General Meeting on May 11, 2022 again took place as a virtual event without shareholders being physically present. Approximately 70 percent of the capital was represented and all of the motions were approved by a majority of votes. This included the distribution of a dividend of €1.50 per share, resulting in a total distribution to shareholders of around €196.7 million. With earnings per share for 2021 of €4.34, this equates to a dividend payout rate of around 35 percent.

Stable shareholder structure

As far as the Company is aware, the shareholder structure remained unchanged in the reporting period. Weichai Power Co., Ltd., Weifang, People’s Republic of China, had a stake of 45.2 percent as at June 30, 2022, which means it is still the biggest single shareholder, while KION GROUP AG continues to hold 0.1 percent of the shares. The free float therefore continued to account for 54.7 percent as at the end of the second quarter.

Shareholder structure as at June 30, 2022

Shareholder structure as at June 30, 2022 (pie chart)

Mainly buy recommendations

A total of 23 brokerage houses currently follow and report regularly on the KION Group. As at June 30, 2022, 16 analysts recommended KION shares as a buy, six rated them as neutral, and one advised selling them. The average target price specified by the sell-side analysts was €76.91 at the end of June.

Unchanged investment-grade credit ratings

The KION Group’s issuer default ratings remained the same in the period under review. Standard & Poor’s has classified the KION Group as BBB- with a stable outlook since August 2021. Since September 2021, Fitch Ratings has awarded a long-term issuer default rating of BBB with a stable outlook and a short-term issuer default rating of F2.