Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Diverse Income Trust (the) Plc LSE:DIVI London Ordinary Share GB00B65TLW28 ORD 0.1P
  Price Change % Change Share Price Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  0.00 0.0% 119.00 119.00 120.00 119.50 119.50 119.50 484,568 16:35:15
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Equity Investment Instruments 14.1 12.5 3.3 36.4 457

Diverse Income Share Discussion Threads

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Just taken a position here as I like the stocks and potential income. Not sure why it does not get much press coverage as recent performance looks good to me.
A slight increase in the final dividend at CSN makes the current yield a few points off 8% at 275p. The results support the continued growth of the final dividend to 14.29p per share (2019 final: 13.87p per share) ), resulting in a 3% increase in the total full year dividend to 21.94p per share (2019 full year: 21.30p per share). This constitutes the 16(th) consecutive annual dividend increase for shareholders.
Good results and slight dividend increase from MNG sees a BUY from the IC on a yield of 8.3%. Https://
Rio Tinto confirms $9bn dividend in a week of bumper returns for mining shareholders MiningMajor Commodities By Andrew Fawthrop 17 Feb 2021 Rio Tinto, BHP and Glencore have each confirmed big dividends this week, as mining companies benefited from a price surge for major commodities in 2020 Rio Tinto Pilbara Cape Lambert iron ore Iron ore at Rio Tinto's Cape Lambert operation in Pilbara, Western Australia (Credit: Rio Tinto) Rio Tinto has confirmed its largest-ever annual payout to shareholders, in a week when rivals BHP and Glencore also upped their own dividends in response to solid returns across the mining industry in 2020. In total, the Anglo-Australian miner issued payments of $9bn for the full year, equivalent to 557 cents per share and 72% of its underlying earnings for the 12-month period. It includes a $5bn final ordinary dividend and a $1.5bn special dividend announced today (17 February). Rio benefited from a surge in prices for iron ore – its biggest commodity focus – during the year, buoyed by strong demand for the steelmaking ingredient in China as the country emerged first from the depths of the coronavirus downturn. Its underlying earnings from iron ore increased by 18% year-on-year to $11.4bn – accounting for more than 90% of total earnings from all product segments. “Safe and well-run operations, together with world-class assets, great people, capital discipline and a strong balance sheet, leave Rio Tinto well placed to generate superior returns for shareholders,” said chief executive Jakob Stausholm. BHP and Glencore further boost 2020 mining dividends Yesterday, rival BHP issued a $5.1bn dividend alongside its half-year results on the back of strong earnings driven by the price surge for iron ore and copper. Analysts suggest an even bigger windfall could be on the cards later in the year when the firm posts its full-year update, assuming commodity markets maintain strong performance. “Our outlook for global economic growth and commodity demand remains positive, with policymakers in key economies signalling a durable commitment to growth and signalling ambitions to tackle climate change,” said BHP chief executive Mike Henry. “These factors, combined with population growth and rising living standards, are expected to drive continuing growth in demand for energy, metals and fertilisers.” Glencore resumed its dividend with a $1.6bn payment, having paused shareholder returns in August amid uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. For the Swiss mining giant, 2020 was the last of its dividends to be paid out under the tenure of long-standing chief executive Ivan Glasenberg as he prepares to leave his role at the head of Glencore. The South African industry veteran retains a roughly 9% ownership interest in the company, however. While the impact of the pandemic caused huge disruption to global industry and commodity markets last year, diversified mining companies have been boosted by growing demand for some of their core products, like iron ore and copper, as major economies prepare to build their way out of the economic downturn with large infrastructure projects. Some analysts and financial planners, including at JP Morgan Chase, have suggested a new commodity “supercycle221; may getting underway, with crude oil also enjoying a price resurgence after a dire 12 months amid record demand loss for petroleum fuels. “Lower interest rates and high levels of government spending should both stimulate economic activity and increase demand for commodities,” noted analysts at Hargreaves Lansdowne. “Meanwhile years of financial restraint post 2015/16 mean miners haven’t necessarily spent as much as they might have on new mines. “That combination of increased demand and lower investment in new supply could be explosive for commodity prices, and excellent news for miner’s profits. “Ultimately, it’s difficult if not impossible to say with any degree of certainty which direction commodities will take. However, we certainly see an argument for miners being on track for better times ahead.” A difficult year for Rio Tinto, despite financial gains Rio Tinto reported underlying earnings of $12.4bn for 2020, up 20% year-on-year, with consolidated revenues up 3% to $44.6bn and net debt falling from $3.65bn to $664m. Yet despite the strong financial performance, it was also a damaging year for the company, which suffered a big reputational blow when it destroyed the Juukan Gorge aboriginal heritage site in Pilbara, Western Australia during a mine expansion in May. The incident prompted a parliamentary inquiry and ultimately cost former chief executive Jean-S├ębastien Jacques his job, along with two other senior executives. Newly-appointed Rio Tinto CEO Jakob Stausholm said: “It has been an extraordinary year – our successful response to the Covid-19 pandemic and strong safety performance were overshadowed by the tragic events at the Juukan Gorge, which should never have happened.” The mining company recently reshuffled its executive structure under the new boss, with a primary aim of rebuilding trust with project stakeholders following the episode. Scope 3 emissions on the agenda In today’s update, Rio outlined new targets for addressing its Scope 3 emissions – those caused by the end use of the products it sells, and the hardest to abate. It said it plans to achieve net-zero emissions from the shipping of its goods by 2050, and align with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) goal of a 40% reduction in shipping intensity by 2030. Rio also plans to work with partners in the steelmaking sector on pathways to decarbonise the manufacturing process and invest in technologies that can advance this process. Glencore recently set its own targets for tackling Scope 3 emissions, as part of a broader push to eliminate the entirety of its carbon footprint by 2050. It confirmed in its financial update yesterday that this climate strategy will be put to shareholders for an advisory vote at its forthcoming annual general meeting in April. Carlota Garcia-Manas, senior responsible investment analyst at Royal London Asset Management (RLAM), welcomed this move, saying it “constitutes another big step in the transformation of this company and reinforces the value of shareholder engagements”. She added: “Glencore is one of a few companies leading the way” on climate action.
grupo guitarlumber
Some high yield stocks for others to research, in no particular order and without recommendation. SUS DUKE HFEL HHI SHRS VOD PMGR CSN BERI PHNX SDV STCM GLO PLUS IGG CLIG MNG WINK CYN NCYF JEMI MRCH BP. CLIG RDSB NG.
Nestle SA said Thursday that 2020 net profit fell while sales rose organically and that it expects continued improvement in organic growth and profitability. The Swiss food-and-beverage company said net profit for the year was 12.23 billion Swiss francs ($13.65 billion) compared with CHF12.61 billion the previous year. Sales decreased on year to CHF84.34 billion. Organic growth reached 3.6%, supported by strong momentum in the Americas as well as Purina PetCare and Nestle Health Science. Analysts had forecast net profit of CHF11.97 billion and sales of CHF84.78 billion, according to a company-compiled consensus. Looking at the current year, Nestle said it expects a continued increase in organic sales growth toward a mid single-digit rate and continued, moderate improvement in underlying trading operating profit margin. It sees an increase in underlying earnings per share at constant currency and capital efficiency, the company said. In the mid term, it expects sustained mid single-digit sales growth. Nestle said its board of directors will propose a dividend of CHF2.75 a share, an increase of 5 centimes, at the annual general meeting scheduled for April 15. Write to Giulia Petroni at (END) Dow Jones Newswires February 18, 2021 02:01 ET (07:01 GMT)
la forge
Orange said Thursday that revenue for the fourth quarter fell, and outlined proposals for dividends covering 2020 and 2021. The French telecommunications company said quarterly revenue fell to 10.92 billion euros ($13.15 billion) from EUR10.94 billion on a comparable basis in the fourth quarter of 2019. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization after leases, or Ebitdaal, slipped to EUR3.18 billion in the quarter from EUR3.26 billion on a comparable basis. The company began using Ebitdaal as a financial indicator in 2019 to account for the adoption of the IFRS 16 accounting standard. For 2020, the company said net profit climbed to EUR4.82 billion from EUR3 billion in 2019, while Ebitdaal fell to EUR12.68 billion from EUR12.81 billion on a comparable basis. Orange had guided for a decline in 2020 Ebitdaal of about 1%, including all the effects related to the coronavirus pandemic. For 2021, Orange expects stable but negative Ebitdaal and confirmed its goal to generate between EUR3.5 billion and EUR4 billion in organic cash flow in 2023. The company said it would ask shareholders in May to vote on a dividend payout of EUR0.70 a share, plus EUR0.20 a share linked to a EUR2.2 billion tax refund. Orange also said it would propose a 2021 dividend of EUR0.70 a share to the 2022 shareholders' meeting, with an interim dividend of EUR0.30 a share to be paid in December. Write to Mauro Orru at; @MauroOrru94 (END) Dow Jones Newswires February 18, 2021 02:08 ET (07:08 GMT)
la forge
STCM kicking out a very nice 10% dividend at current prices.
5 Reasons Not to Hold Too Much Cash Cash has been king this year as savings balances swell and the economy wobbles, but it's not a great long-term proposition to reach your goals James Gard 7 January, 2021 | 10:41AM Twenty pound notes Job uncertainty, no holidays, minimal commuting costs and closed shops are just some of the reasons why some British savers built up big stockpiles of cash in 2020. The Bank of England estimates that this stockpile could have grown to a staggering £100 billion and while some of this may have been put into pensions, much is languishing in cash savings accounts and looking for a home. Chancellor Rishi Sunak hopes people will spend this money to help with the recovery, and fund managers owning cyclical stocks like travel and leisure expect “revenge spending” in 2021 on holidays and cars to make up for lost consumption in 2020. But while cash is comforting in a crisis and can be a useful gift to children/grandchildren who may need the liquid assets to get on the property ladder or buy a car, if you’re fortunate enough to have saved money, here are five reasons not to leave this lingering in cash. 1. Savings Rates Rarely Beat Inflation The Bank of England cut interest rates to a record low of 0.1% in March 2020 and savings providers having been slashing rates across the board all year. Many accounts pay just 0.01% in interest - nine basis points below the base rate. That means that even with inflation at a very low 0.3% in November, you are still losing money in real terms. According to Money Saving Expert’s list of top savings rates, the best easy access account pays 0.6% and the best notice account has a rate of 0.7%. Higher rates may be available if you go for a fixed-rate account and put your money away for up to five years, and Isa rates are generally higher, but not by much – many, such as NS&I, just match the Bank of England rate of 0.1%. 2. Rainy Day Funds Can Get Too Big Locking your money away for more than a year may not make sense if this pot of money is an “emergency fund”. With people losing their jobs or being furloughed this year, a stockpile of cash will have come in very handy. That would have provided a useful buffer for those over 55 who were temped to dip into pension savings (we looked at how Covid-19 has affected retirement here). Financial advisers usually recommend people holding three to six months' savings in cash and with the economy struggling, some have suggested doubling that. With an average UK net salary of £2,000 a month, that provides a decent buffer of around £12,000 to keep up with mortgage payments and household bills. After £16,000 of savings, you won’t be able to claim Universal Credit anyway, a monthly payment to help the jobless with living costs. (Anything savings below £6,000 don’t affect entitlement to Universal Credit). 3. Long-Term Performance Many would-be investors feel more comfortable holding cash because they don’t understand the stock market, or are reluctant to seek out financial advice. Countless studies show that equity (and bond) markets outperform cash over the long term – according to wealth manager and broker Charles Stanley, £10,000 invested in global markets in 2010 would now be worth approximately £30,742. The same amount held in a cash savings account would have grown to just £11,230. “Many consumers are missing out on the opportunity to invest their money and make it work better for them in the longer term,” the Financial Conduct Authority’s latest report on the UK financial advice market. The FCA’s latest research reveals that 37% people with £10,000 of investable money have all of it cash, and 18% have more than three-quarters of their wealth in cash. Even with last year’s economic and health crisis, many global stock markets finished the year higher than they started. The Morningstar Global Markets index, for example, was up nearly 15% by mid-December. Excluding platform fees, that would have turned £10,000 into £11,150 in less than a year. By comparison, that £10,000 in a 0.6% savings account would have turned into £10,060 - a difference of £1,090. Of course, your attitude to that capital would have been very different in March 2020 when markets crashed. 4. The Old Rules Are Being Ripped Up The Charles Stanley research is also revealing in that it shows how attitudes to cash and shares among the different generations. Asked why they had invested in the stock market, 42% of 54-74 year olds replied that “returns on cash savings are poor”, but only 12% of 18-23 year olds gave that answer (28% of millennials and 38% of 39-53 year olds gave that as the reason). People generally become more risk-averse the closer they get to retirement, needing less volatile (and more income-producing assets) as well as liquidity. But of the Baby Boomer age group, some 43% said the main reason for investing was to save for retirement (compared with 11% for the youngest age group). Some 30% of the 18-23 year olds said their equity investments were to buy a house; suggesting that younger people are prepared to take greater risks with their money to get on to the property ladder. (Our Investor Views column often features young people using investing for this reason). You need cash for a house deposit, of course, but that money held in savings accounts will not grow very much even with compound interest. 5. Cash Doesn't Pay Dividends 2020 was an annus horribilis for UK income investors – dividends in the third quarter were half that of the previous year and the lowest for 10 years. According to Link, dividends totalled around £60 billion in 2020, against a figure of more than £100 billion in 2019. Covid-19 has reset the expectations of many companies, such as the oil giants, which were some of the biggest payers of the FTSE 100. Some companies, such as housebuilders, froze dividends during the market panic in March but have since resumed them. UK banks were forced by regulators to stop dividend payments but have just been given the green light to resume them (in more limited form) this year. Some of the UK’s biggest companies such as Tesco actually increased their payouts, however. So the outlook for 2021 income investors is likely to be brighter than in 2020 – AJ Bell predicts an 18% increase in FTSE 100 dividends this year as more payments are restored. According to the LSE, the FTSE 100 yields 4.7% - with the “risk-freeR21; UK government bond offering 0.23% and cash rates around 0.1%, investors are being handsomely rewarded for taking on equity risk.
adrian j boris
Orange said late Wednesday that it intends to use the roughly 2.2 billion euros ($2.67 billion) that it has received following the resolution of a tax dispute to strengthen its development and for a potential extraordinary dividend. The French telecommunications company said its board met on Dec. 2 to discuss the allocation of the funds. The board is favorable to the use of nearly a quarter of the amount to boost Orange's network position in France and internationally, while another quarter of the received amount would support the company's operational transformation. Orange announced a conditional public takeover offer for shares it doesn't yet own in Orange Belgium and intends to use part of the funds to finance it. The board of directors also "favorably considered" the possible distribution of an extraordinary dividend of EUR0.20 per share. "The final decision will be made at the board of directors meeting held to approve the 2020 accounts and will then be submitted to the shareholders' meeting for approval," Orange said. Write to Olivia Bugault at (END) Dow Jones Newswires December 03, 2020 01:41 ET (06:41 GMT)
the grumpy old men
the grumpy old men
UK dividend payments down 47% in Q3. Australia -40%. Global -14%. USA -4%. China +3%. Https://
TOTAL: Dividend Declaration 30/10/2020 7:37am UK Regulatory (RNS & others) TIDMTTA Total Maintains the Third 2020 Interim Dividend At EUR0.66/share Total (Paris:FP) (LSE:TTA) (NYSE:TOT): The Board of Directors met on October 29, 2020, and declared the distribution of the third 2020 interim dividend at EUR0.66/share, stable compared to the first and second 2020 interim dividends. This interim dividend will be paid in cash exclusively, according to the following timetable: Shareholders ADS holders Ex-dividend date March 25, 2021 March 23, 2021 Payment date April 1, 2021 April 19, 2021
The Hague, October 29, 2020 - The Board of Royal Dutch Shell plc ("RDS" or the "Company") today announced an interim dividend in respect of the third quarter of 2020 of US$ 0.1665 per A ordinary share ("A Share") and B ordinary share ("B Share"). Chair of the Board of Royal Dutch Shell, Chad Holliday commented: "The Board has reviewed Shell's recent performance and its plans to grow its businesses of the future, and we are confident that Shell can sustainably grow its shareholder distributions as well as invest for growth. As a result, the Board has decided to increase the dividend per share to 16.65 US cents for the third quarter 2020. The Board has additionally approved a cash allocation framework for Shell which, on reducing its net debt to $65 billion, will target total shareholder distributions of 20-30% of cash flow from operations."
Orange said Thursday that revenue for the third quarter increased as growth in France and Africa and the Middle East offset a decline in the other segments, and it raised its interim dividend to be paid out in December. The French telecommunications company said revenue rose to 10.58 billion euros ($12.43 billion) on a comparable basis from EUR10.50 billion a year earlier. Analysts had expected revenue of EUR10.54 billion for the quarter, according to FactSet. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization after leasing, or Ebitdaal, fell slightly to EUR3.58 billion from EUR3.60 billion on a comparable basis. The company began using Ebitdaal as a financial indicator in January 2019 to account for the adoption of the IFRS 16 accounting standard. Orange said its board of directors backed the return to a 2020 dividend of EUR0.70 a share, adding the company would pay an interim dividend of EUR0.40 a share on Dec. 9, representing an increase of EUR0.10 from the amount it announced in July. The company will make a final proposal at its annual general meeting of in May 2021, it said. Orange said it continues to expect a slight decline in 2020 Ebitdaal of about 1%, including all the effects linked to the coronavirus pandemic. Write to Mauro Orru at; @MauroOrru94 (END) Dow Jones Newswires October 29, 2020 03:09 ET (07:09 GMT)
Oil major Shell increases dividend as third-quarter earnings beat forecasts Published Thu, Oct 29 20203:16 AM EDT Sam Meredith @smeredith19 LONDON — Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell on Thursday reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings and announced plans to increase its dividend to shareholders. The Anglo-Dutch company reported adjusted earnings of $955 million for the three months through to the end of September. That compared with a net profit of $4.77 billion over the same period a year earlier, and adjusted earnings of $638 million for the second quarter of 2020. Analysts at Refinitiv had expected third-quarter net profit to come in at $594 million for the third quarter. Shares of Shell are down more than 61% year-to-date. It had previously warned that post-tax impairment charges in the range of $1 billion to $1.5 billion were to be expected in the third quarter.
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23 September 2020 Anglo Asian Mining plc / Ticker: AAZ / Index: AIM / Sector: Mining Interim Results for the six-months to 30 June 2020 ("H1 2020"). Profit before tax increased to $11.8 million FY 2020 guidance maintained with stronger performance expected in H2 2020 Interim dividend for 2020 increased to US 4.5 cents per ordinary share and the directors will consider a special dividend in Q1 2021 The Company also announces its interim dividend in respect of the year ending 31 December 2020 of US 4.5 cents per ordinary share payable on 5 November 2020 to shareholders on record on 9 October 2020. The 2020 interim dividend is a 29 per cent. increase on the interim dividend for 2019. The directors will also consider a special dividend in Q1 2021 due to the on-going strong cash generation.
09/16/2020 | 06:22am BST By Mauro Orru Eni SpA said late Tuesday that it has agreed to give out an interim dividend for 2020. The Italian oil-and-gas major said its board of directors settled for 12 European cents a share ($0.14), payable on Sept. 23. The company paid out an interim dividend of 43 European cents in 2019. Eni said shareholders who own an American depositary receipt--a certificate issued by a U.S. bank representing shares in foreign stock--would receive EUR0.24 per ADR, payable on Oct. 8. The company revealed proposals at the end of July to distribute an interim dividend. Write to Mauro Orru at; @MauroOrru94
Second quarter interim dividend for 2020 Payments of dividends in sterling On 4 August 2020, the Directors of BP p.l.c. announced that the interim dividend for the second quarter 2020 would be US$0.0525 per ordinary share (US$0.315 per ADS). This interim dividend is to be paid on 25 September 2020 to shareholders on the share register on 14 August 2020. The dividend is payable in cash in sterling to holders of ordinary shares and in US dollars to holders of ADSs. The board has decided not to offer a scrip dividend alternative in respect of the second quarter 2020 dividend. Dividend reinvestment plans have been made available for this dividend for ordinary shareholders and ADS holders (subject to certain exceptions) to receive additional BP shares. Sterling dividends payable in cash will be converted from US dollars at an average of the market exchange rate over the four dealing days from 8 to 11 September 2020 (GBP1 = US$1.29846). Accordingly, the amount of sterling dividend payable in cash on 25 September 2020 will be: 4.0433 pence per share. Details of the second quarter dividend and timetable are available at For further information on your dividend payment options visit This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact or visit RNS may use your IP address to confirm compliance with the terms and conditions, to analyse how you engage with the information contained in this communication, and to share such analysis on an anonymised basis with others as part of our commercial services. For further information about how RNS and the London Stock Exchange use the personal data you provide us, please see our Privacy Policy. END DIVGZGMLLDMGGZG (END) Dow Jones Newswires September 14, 2020 05:05 ET (09:05 GMT)
Royal Dutch Shell plc Royal Dutch Shell Plc Second Quarter 2020 Euro And Gbp Equivalent Dividend Payments 08 September 2020 - 07:30AM Dow Jones News Print Share On Facebook TIDMRDSA TIDMRDSB The Hague, September 8, 2020 - The Board of Royal Dutch Shell plc ("RDS") today announced the pounds sterling and euro equivalent dividend payments in respect of the second quarter 2020 interim dividend, which was announced on July 30, 2020 at US$0.16 per A ordinary share ("A Share") and B ordinary share ("B Share"). Dividends on A Shares will be paid, by default, in euros at the rate of EUR0.1353 per A Share. Holders of A Shares who have validly submitted US dollars or pounds sterling currency elections by August 28, 2020 will be entitled to a dividend of US$0.16 or 12.09p per A Share, respectively. Dividends on B Shares will be paid, by default, in pounds sterling at the rate of 12.09p per B Share. Holders of B Shares who have validly submitted US dollars or euros currency elections by August 28, 2020 will be entitled to a dividend of US$0.16 or EUR0.1353 per B Share, respectively. Euro and pounds sterling dividends payable in cash have been converted from US dollars based on an average of market exchange rates over the three dealing days from 3 to 7 September 2020. This dividend will be payable on September 21, 2020 to those members whose names were on the Register of Members on August 14, 2020. Taxation - cash dividend Cash dividends on A Shares will be subject to the deduction of Dutch dividend withholding tax at the rate of 15%, which may be reduced in certain circumstances. Non-Dutch resident shareholders, depending on their particular circumstances, may be entitled to a full or partial refund of Dutch dividend withholding tax. If you are uncertain as to the tax treatment of any dividends you should consult your tax advisor. Royal Dutch Shell plc ENQUIRIES: Media: International +44 (0) 207 934 5550 Americas +1 832 337 4355
Https:// Orange CEO Pledges to Boost Dividend With Focus on Cost Cuts Helene Fouquet and Geraldine Amiel, Bloomberg News (Bloomberg) -- Orange SA, France’s biggest telecommunications company, pledged to restore the dividend to its pre-pandemic level as soon as this year and to be “ambitious” on cost savings. Orange had cut its 2019 dividend to 50 cents from a target of 70 cents per share in April. It told investors in July that they would be informed by the end of the year if the payout goal would return to the previous level for 2020. Chief Executive Officer Stephane Richard said in an interview Sunday he would “personally” ensure a return to the target. “My objective is to return to 70 cents a share as soon as this year, and we totally have the means to do it.” More broadly, he will continue to pare costs at the company. “We’re totally determined to be more ambitious on the matter, on cost optimization.” A price war in France and weakness in Spain, its two biggest markets, and the need to continue investment in its networks has been weighing on the company’s shares for years. Orange started a program in December to monetize its infrastructure and cut costs. When asked if Orange was planning job cuts, Richard said there is a constant plan to reduce staff in France, and referred to its broader strategy. The company has been making few replacements for staff that are retiring, and Richard said “is this going to continue? Yes.” Personnel reductions would focus on support and non-operational units, he said. He declined to give a target on headcount, but reiterated that the company’s December plan would still achieve 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) of planned savings by 2023. “We have a job to do on that,” he said. “It’s part of the transformation.” Orange has tended to say little on actions to reduce headcount as it faced a criminal trial linked to a wave of employee suicides more than a decade ago. Ex-CEO Didier Lombard was found guilty of harassment and using “forbidden” methods to carry out staff cuts. The 28% slump in Orange shares this year, under performing peers, raised questions among analysts on whether the company will retain its place in the Stoxx 50 index. The company’s second-quarter results presented a mixed picture. While Orange added a record number of fiber broadband customers in the period, a reflection of its heavy investment, travel bans hit revenue from roaming fees and store closures weighed on equipment sales. Meanwhile, it faces competition from domestic rivals Altice Europe NV’s SFR, Iliad SA and Bouygues SA as they catch up on fiber. “There is some speculation that Orange could be excluded from the Stoxx50 and it weighs on the stock’s performance. But it’s not just that,” Alexandre Iatrides, an analyst at Oddo BHF, said Friday. “Orange benefited in the past two to three years from its advance in fiber. But its competitors caught up and very clearly accelerated.” Infrastructure Opportunities Richard took the CEO role at the company in 2011. A removal from the benchmark would be a blow as it could result in substantial selling pressure from investors and exchange-traded funds that track the index. “We make money, we hand out dividends, we produce cash flow, we have sales that are holding up, as we are massacred on the stock market,” said Richard, speaking in his office in Paris. “The economic reality of the company is totally forgotten.” He said Orange wants to capitalize on opportunities to monetize its infrastructure. It’s selling mobile phone towers in Spain to Cellnex Telecom SA, and will set up separate companies to house its other cellular towers while looking for partners to help with network rollouts in France and elsewhere in Europe. December’s five-year plan indicated the Spanish tower company would be created this year. Richard said Sunday that it would be created and operational by the end of 2021. He also said he envisioned more combinations in this sector in the future. “There is going to be some sort of consolidation on tower companies in Europe,” including between operators, and Orange has had some discussions about this. “We had exchanges with Deutsche Telekom AG and Vodafone Group Plc at some points, but they are not advanced at all.” The virus-related confinement in France before the summer has delayed Orange Concessions, the project to monetize its French fiber infrastructure. Richard said Orange plans to find its financial partner for the dedicated vehicle in 2021, later than the end-2020 planned deadline. He said there is “a lot of appetite for these assets,” and said there could be two investors. Investor Disaffection Amid the activity to make more out of Orange’s assets, he said the company’s share performance reflects a “disaffection” that has developed among investors regarding the industry. They also have a “a sentiment that the short operational perspectives of Orange are under performing other operators, and this comes essentially from two markets: France and Spain.” He said there was reason for “optimism” for the company’s Spanish business in the third quarter. It remains under pressure from competitors including Masmovil on prices, though with its new management starting on Tuesday it can turn around the situation in the next 18 months, Richard said. However, the levels also reflect that hedge funds have “played on an Orange exit,” he said. “They are massively shorting the stock.” “‘I am violently opposed to these practices,” he said. “This isn’t the way financial markets should work because the economic reality of companies is totally forgotten.”
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