Here is the record amount distributed to shareholders by Cac 40 companies

Every year, the specialist newsletter Vernimmen scrutinizes dividends and share buybacks companies from Bedroom 40. The numbers 2022 are quite surprising.

How much did Cac 40 companies redistribute to their shareholders last year?

More than 80 billion euros, according to the latest issue of the Vernimmen specialist newsletter (the Vernimmen is a corporate finance manual). Of this amount, 56.5 billion euros are made up of “dividends”. INSEE recalls that dividends are income paid to shareholders, who have made capital available to a company”. As for the Cac 40, it is an index comprising the forty largest French companies, listed on the Paris Stock Exchange.

These giants also carried out in 2022 nearly 24 billion “share buybacks”. It is a way for the company to redistribute funds to its shareholders in a manner similar to dividends,writes the specialized site La Finance pour tous. A stock buyback reduces the number of shares outstanding, which means that each shareholder after the buyback owns a larger percentage of the company.

In total, the 80 billion redistributed represent the highest level ever recorded, since the first edition of the Vernimmen annual study, 19 years ago.

How can this high level of dividends and share buybacks be explained?

Through the resilience of the French economy, despite a complicated economic and geostrategic context”, observe the authors of the Vernimmen Letter, Pascal Quiry and Yann Le Fur. They emphasize the lowest unemployment rate since 2008, at 7.3%. And business creations at their highest level ever.

What are the first three groups concerned?

On the podium are TotalEnergies (13.3 billion redistributed to shareholders), LVMH (7.1 billion), Sanofi (4.7 billion).

What are the redistributed funds used for?

Dividends and share buybacks are great tools for circulating wealth,write Pascal Quiry and Yann Le Fur. They make it possible to reallocate a scarce resource, the equity capital of companies that no longer have any use for it, towards new companies that need it. They cite the innovative start-ups: 839 French start-ups less than ten years old were able to find more than thirteen billion in equity capital to finance their development and cover their losses.

But this announcement comes in a context of inflation and pension reform. So much so that these record dividends and share buybacks are sparking debate on the left. And if we made the profits contribute to the financing of pensions rather than raising the retirement age”, writes Raphaël Pradeau, member of Attac, on Twitter.

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