Huawei employee shareholders to get 3% hike in cash dividends

Huawei is set to reward employee shareholders with a 3 percent increase in cash dividends that may touch $3.2 billion.
Huawei phone campaign in ChinaHuawei Technologies’s 80,000 workers, who own nearly all of the company’s shares, will gain from this move. Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei has 1.14 percent stake in Huawei. Huawei is the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker and no. 2 manufacturer of smartphones.

Huawei said in December it expects revenue to rise 21 percent to $109 billion in 2018. The company, which made a net profit of 47.5 billion yuan in 2017, will announce figures for last year in late March.

The cash dividend per share for 2018 is expected to rise to 1.05 yuan per share from 1.02 yuan, six employee-shareholder sources told Reuters, citing internal notices handed down over the past month. Official spokesperson said Huawei does not comment on its dividend policy.

The payout also appears to indicate profit growth as well as confidence the company can survive U.S. accusations that its telecoms network equipment may enable espionage by the Chinese government, analysts said.

Total returns per share dropped 7 percent to 2.61 yuan. That follows a stock split. There will also be a 1 to 1.56 stock split for 2018, the sources said.

The state-owned Securities Times in February 2018 reported a figure for outstanding shares and a stock split, citing a Huawei internal memo. That implies 20.3 billion shares currently outstanding, which would translate to a cash dividend of 21.3 billion yuan ($3.2 billion).

Securities Times report said its dividend payout for 2017 was 16.8 billion yuan, equivalent to 35 percent of net profit.

The cash dividend can be as much as annual salary or even more.

Huawei employs some 180,000 people globally and the shareholder scheme is not open to all, with staff usually only able to take part after three years of strong performance.

Before joining the scheme, workers also need to sign a declaration of dedication that they voluntarily give up benefits such as paid annual leave.

The payout comes amid a crisis for Huawei as Washington calls on governments around the world to stop using its gear, particularly in 5G networks.

The United States has also charged Huawei with bank fraud related to sanctions against Iran and is seeking to extradite Meng Wanzhou, its CFO and the daughter of founder Ren Zhengfei, from Canada on related charges.