Hon Hai issues record high cash dividend

Taipei--Taiwan-based manufacturing giant Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (??) on Thursday issued its highest ever cash dividend, with its chairman Terry Gou (???) receiving almost NT$7.3 billion (US$241 million).

The company, which assembles iPhones and iPads for Apple Inc., gave its stockholders a cash dividend of NT$4.5 on its 2016 earnings per share of NT$8.60.

It was the first time that Hon Hai was issuing only cash dividends on previous earnings and was its highest ever cash dividend per share.

Last year, the company issued NT$4 in cash dividend per share, and NT$1 in stock dividend.

On its 2016 earnings, Hon Hai issued a total NT$77.98 billion in cash dividends, its highest ever cash payout, based on its big market capitalization of NT$173.29 billion.

The closest it ever came that figure was in 2015, when it paid out NT$62.55 billion on its 2014 earnings.

On Thursday, Gou, one of the richest men in Taiwan, received about NT$7.298 billion in cash on his approximately 1.621 billion shares in Hon Hai as of the end of June.

It was by far the highest payout this year to an individual shareholder in a listed Taiwan company, and Quanta Computer Inc. Chairman Barry Lam (???) is expected to finish a distant second with a cash dividend of about NT$1.46 billion from his company.

Hon Hai shares went ex-dividend on July 13, when its opening reference price was cut by NT$4.5 -- equivalent to its cash dividend per share -- to NT$114.00.

Amid high optimism among investors about the new iPhones that will be released in September on Apple's 10th anniversary, Hon Hai's share prices returned to the pre ex-dividend level of NT$118.50 on Aug. 2 after only 12 trading sessions.

According to market analyst, at least one of the new iPhone models will be equipped with an advanced organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screen, a significant upgrade from the existing liquid crystal display, which is likely to spur a wave of replacements among consumers. Hon Hai is expected to receive 90-95 percent of the orders for assembly of the OLED iPhones.

In a recent research note, Taipei-based KGI Securities analyst Kuo Ming-chi (???) said Hon Hai would adapt some of its LCD iPhone production lines in Zhengzhou in China for OLED production in the fourth quarter to meet expected strong demand.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel