Samsung share price soars to a record high
Despite the Galaxy Note 7 recall and witnessing the biggest drop in its smartphone market share and sales this year, the stock price for Samsung Electronics hit a record high earlier today at 1.747 million won, or just under $1,500 a piece. The surge came after the company announced a list of measures to boost shareholder value in the short term, which added $9 billion to the company’s market valuation.
Earlier, Samsung announced up to $3.6 billion in dividend payouts this year, which could add up to $256 per share. This marks a 36 percent increase in payouts over last year, and the company has committed to returning 50 percent of its free cash flow to shareholders through dividends and treasury share buybacks in 2017 as well. While this strategy is good news for investors in the short term, Samsung is burning through around $10 billion in its cash reserve to keep shareholders happy.
The company is also reviewing the proposal to split its corporate structure into two separate businesses, a move that could be another boon for its stock price and simplify the company’s structure in the longer term. The new structure would see Samsung reorganized into one holding and one operating company, however a decision isn’t expected to be made for another six months. The split was initially proposed by US hedge fund and Samsung shareholder Elliott Management, which is keeping up the pressure for a split.
The day hasn’t all gone perfectly for the electronics giant though. The US Court of Appeals has rejected Samsung’s bid for a second hearing regarding its long running case over three iOS patent infringements. Samsung originally lost the case back in 2014, which related to auto-correct, quick links, and slide-to-unlock patents held by Apple for use with iOS. Samsung was ordered to pay $119.6 million at the time, which is a lot less than the $2.2 billion that Apple requested.
Samsung didn’t receive much support from the industry on the matter, with only the Computer & Communications Industry Association filing an amicus curiae brief in support. The brief suggested that blogger conspiracy theories and political gamesmanship influenced a previous reinstatement decision, which the court doesn’t appear to have taken to kindly to.