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Our Shares

At a glance

On the whole, the performance of our shares in 2019 was characterized by a strong increase in value. The shares started the year with an uptrend but came under pressure during the second quarter. The turnaround began in the second half of the year, when The shares caught up with the reference indices. However, at the end of the year, they fell short of these reference indices. Our shares ended the year with a closing price of € 105.35 and thus appreciated by 17% compared with the prior year.

At the end of the year, the shares underperformed the relevant reference indices, which all reported a strong upturn during the same period. When compared with the DAX® reference index, which rose by around 25% during the overall period, the our shares performed just under 8 percentage points below. Compared with the relevant reference index for the chemical industry, which increased by 29% over the year, our shares were around 11 percentage points lower. The pharmaceutical industry index gained around 24% in 2019, thus outperforming our shares by 7 percentage points in the same period.

In 2019, the Executive Board and the Investor Relations team gave in-depth briefings to more than 1,000 investors at investor conferences, as well as during roadshows and conference calls.

The average daily trading volume of our shares declined by around 13% year-on-year, from some 584,000 to a good 505,000 in 2019. North America’s proportion of the free float remained the highest in 2019, although it fell to around 33% when compared to the prior year (2018: 36%). By investor type, growth investors and value investors dominated, as in the previous year. In 2019, the proportion of growth investors at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, remained at last year’s level of 34%. At the end of 2019, the top five investors held around 24% of the free float (2018: 28%).


Share price development from January 1, 2019, to December 31, 2019

in %
Source: Bloomberg (closing rates).
Key share price data1
    2019 2018
Dividend2 1.30 1.25
Share price high 109.75 99.82
Share price low 86.46 74.80
Year-end share price 105.35 89.98
Daily average number of shares traded3 Number 504,934 583,653
Market capitalization4 (at year-end) € million 45,804 39,121
Market value of authorized shares5 (at year-end) € million 13,616 11,629
1 Share price-relevant figures relate to the closing price in Xetra® trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
2 2019 dividend subject to approval by the Annual General Meeting.
3 Based on the floor trading systems of all German exchanges and the regulated market on Xetra® .
4 Based on the theoretical number of shares (434.8 million).
5 Based on the number of shares in free float (129.2 million). Source: Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters.

Identified investors by region as of November 2019 

Source: Nasdaq Shareholder Identification
Total Shares Outstanding: 129.2 million

Identified investors by type as of November 2019 

Source: Nasdaq Shareholder Identification