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Hapag-Lloyd: Share suffers a fall in price – What’s going on at Hapag-Lloyd?

The price slide cannot be overlooked on the stock market chart: Hapag-Lloyd shares fell by more than a quarter on Thursday. What looks dramatic, however, came with an announcement – and is by no means a drama: May 4th was the so-called ex-dividend day at Hapag. On this date, usually the day after the general meeting, the dividend is deducted from the share price.

Hapag-Lloyd pays a record dividend for the past, extraordinarily good financial year: Investors receive 63 euros per share. In total, the shipping company will pay out around eleven billion euros to shareholders. The dividend discount on the share price was correspondingly high on Thursday.

For shareholders, ex-dividend days are not a problem. What they lose in custody account value on paper then migrates to their clearing account in the form of dividends. Bottom line, this is a zero-sum game. For this reason, it doesn’t make much sense to buy a company’s shares just before the annual general meeting just because a high dividend is in sight. However, not all investors seem to realize this. In any case, shortly before the dividend date, the Hapag share price rose significantly. This effect is often seen in dividend star stocks.

Ex-dividend days are a constant source of confusion for inexperienced investors. The price of a share suddenly crashes without there being any fundamental reason for it. Sometimes a reason for the fall in price is then sought. Sometimes with strange results.

Ronaldo and the Coke scandal

Two years ago, football star Cristiano Ronaldo caused a stir with a small gesture: at a press conference for the European Football Championship at the time, he put two bottles of Coca-Cola aside, picked up a bottle of water, held it up and said: “Agua”, so: water. He duped Coca-Cola, one of the sponsors of the European Championship. And not only that: As you could read in many media the following day, Ronaldo also dropped the share price of the beverage giant. In fact, a sudden price drop was observed after the press conference.

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The story was pretty. But it was probably not true: the day of Ronaldo’s press conference was also an ex-dividend day for Coca-Cola. As is customary in the USA, the US group pays dividends four times a year and is one of the most reliable dividend payers among the American giants. The US stock markets had opened shortly before the soccer star’s “Agua” statement. The decline in the price of the Cola share was therefore to be expected.

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In the ups and downs of the stock markets, dividend deductions are usually only small dents in the chart. If there is a high payout, the discount can be quite considerable. At Hapag-Lloyd, the optical crash should not be repeated next year: the special boom is over, the business prospects have clouded over. On the ex-dividend day 2024, a small price dip should be observed again, not a landslide.

Also read: Shipping company stocks in heavy seas

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