In the first quarter, Volkswagen ordinary shares clearly outperformed the DAX. The satisfactory sales and financial data from fiscal year 2007 contributed materially to this performance.
The positive trend mostly continued throughout the second quarter of 2008, bolstered by factors including share purchases by the State of Lower Saxony.
The performance of Volkswagen AG’s ordinary and preferred shares was widely divergent in the third quarter: although the price of preferred shares fell at the end of the quarter, the price of ordinary shares rose sharply. In addition to the good half-yearly results, the reasons for this development are likely to have included acquisitions of additional shares by Porsche Automobil Holding SE and the market’s expectations of further purchases.
SHARE PRICE DEVELOPMENT FROM DECEMBER 2007 TO DECEMBER 2008
Index based on month-end prices: December 31, 2007 = 100
In the fourth quarter, Porsche Automobil Holding SE announced that it had increased its interest in Volkswagen AG to 42.6% of the ordinary shares and that it held cash-settled options on ordinary shares of Volkswagen for hedging purposes. Many market players were surprised by this announcement, and the price of Volkswagen’s ordinary shares rose to €1,005.01 for a short period. At this time, Volkswagen was the most valuable company in the world.
The announcement by Porsche that it would unwind hedging transactions amounting to up to 5% of the ordinary shares and the further deterioration in underlying economic conditions led to a subsequent substantial drop in the share price. Deutsche Börse reacted to this share price turbulence with an extraordinary reweighting of the 30 companies represented in the DAX and a reduction in the percentage of the leading German index accounted for by Volkswagen’s shares from 27% to 10% in November 2008. The price of preferred shares, which fell in the third quarter, continued its downward trend in the last quarter of the year.
On October 28, 2008, Volkswagen AG ordinary shares recorded their highest daily closing price in the fiscal year, namely €945.00. This was also the highest closing price in the Company’s entire history. At their low on January 21, 2008, the shares were trading at €148.43. On the last trading day of the year, they were quoted at €250.00, representing a 60.2% increase compared with the end of 2007.
Volkswagen AG preferred shares recorded their highest closing price of the reporting period, €108.30, on April 22, 2008. Their lowest price was €29.30 on November 12, 2008. At the end of the year, preferred shares were quoted at €38.02, or 62.0 % below the price on December 31, 2007.