KION shares

KION share price recovers in a bullish equity market environment

The equity markets rallied in the first half of 2023. This recovery, which set in on the back of a weak 2022 trading year, was supported by positive company news even though the economic outlook remains mixed and the geopolitical situation tense. In the second quarter of 2023, the German benchmark index DAX continued on its upward trajectory despite persistently high inflation, the continuing cycle of interest-rate increases, and a number of rescue operations in the financial sector. It reached an all-time high of 16,427 points on June 18 and ultimately closed the first half of the year at 16,148 points. This equates to a gain of 16 percent compared with the end of 2022. Over the same period, the MDAX achieved a slightly smaller gain of 9.9 percent, closing at 27,611 points.

After a sharp fall in 2022, KION’s share price rallied towards the end of the first half of 2023. Compared with their closing price at the end of 2022, KION shares climbed by 37.7 percent to €36.86 and thus outperformed the DAX and MDAX indices that serve as their benchmark. This strong performance was helped by the fact that the Company significantly exceeded market expectations for adjusted EBIT and free cash flow in Q1 2023, which led to the outlook for 2023 being raised. At the end of June 2023, market capitalization stood at €4.8 billion, of which €2.6 billion was attributable to shares in free float.

Share price performance in the first half of 2023 compared with the DAX and MDAX
(both indexed to KION)

Share price performance in the first half of 2023 compared with the DAX and MDAX (line chart)

First in-person Annual General Meeting in three years

The 2023 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of KION GROUP AG took place on May 17, 2023 in Frankfurt, Germany, and was held as an in-person event for the first time since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Approximately 84 percent of the share capital was represented and all of the motions were approved by a majority of votes. The AGM also approved the distribution of a dividend of €0.19 per share, resulting in a total distribution to shareholders of around €24.9 million and an addition of €85.0 million to retained earnings.

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, continued to hold a stake of around 46.5 percent as at June 30, 2023, which means it is still the biggest single shareholder, while KION GROUP AG continued to hold around 0.1 percent of the shares. The free float therefore remained at around 53.4 percent as at the end of the first half of 2023.

Shareholder structure as at June 30, 2023

Shareholder structure as at June 30, 2023 (pie chart)

Mainly buy recommendations

A total of 21 brokerage houses currently follow and report regularly on the KION Group. As at June 30, 2023, 15 analysts recommended KION shares as a buy, five rated them as neutral, and one advised selling them. The average target price specified by the sell-side analysts was €43.57 at the end of June 2023.

Investment-grade credit ratings reaffirmed

The KION Group’s issuer default ratings were reaffirmed in the reporting period. Standard & Poor’s confirmed its BBB– rating in April 2023 and changed the outlook from CreditWatch negative to negative. Since October 2022, 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.