Daimler investors can expect a “good, healthy dividend” this year, Chief Financial Officer Bodo Uebber said in an interview with Reuters. The dividend is expected to be nearly twice the amount distributed for 2008, the last time that Daimler returned cash to shareholders. Uebber also reaffirmed Daimler's prediction of an operating profit of 6 billion euros ($8.1 billion) for 2010.
He added that he is “very comfortable" with the current analyst estimates for a dividend of 1.15 euros per share on average. Last year, Daimler canceled the dividend and saw shares fall deeply on that day. Uebber had explained that this was “an exception” and will not happen again.
He said that Daimler has set a goal to surpass its operating profit target by a "bit.” He also said there’s no reason to be apprehensive about a downturn in the global economy.
Uebber added that when looking at the current economic indicators, he doesn’t expect a “double dip” even when the conditions in the US are “more difficult than before.” He explained that the Chinese government’s actions to slow down will result to a “soft landing” for the economy.
If the demand is resilient, this could help Daimler with its borrowing costs. Uebber noted that starting next year, the prerequisite for a single 'A' rating could be fulfilled with stable, rising markets.
Daimler anticipates that it will be more productive once more with the funds it employs, easily getting a higher return this year than those otherwise generally available on capital markets. Uebber said that with the current consensus of 3.60 euros earnings per share, the company expects that its earnings will exceed its cost of capital. [via reuters]