Investor Relations

The Yara share 2008

Yara aims to be an attractive investment for shareholders, and to provide competitive returns compared with other investment alternatives.

Yara is committed to serve all its shareholders and potential investors by providing consistent, open and prompt disclosure of relevant information. Yara’s underlying investor relations policy is equal treatment of all stakeholders, which includes analysts, banks, institutional investors and private shareholders.

All information that may be important and relevant to the markets is provided in the form of notices to the Oslo Stock Exchange (OSE) and through press releases. Yara presents quarterly results at its headquarters at Bygdøy Allé 2 in Oslo, as well as through web casts. In addition, Yara holds regular meetings with investors both in Europe and in North America. 

Yara aims to provide its shareholders with competitive returns compared with other investment alternatives with similar risk. The Yara share shall be a liquid and attractive investment opportunity.

Share performance and distribution

In 2008, a total of 1,202.5 million Yara shares were traded on the OSE, at a total value of NOK 320.8 billion. The average daily trading volume for Yara shares on the OSE during 2008 was 4.77 million.

The highest closing price during the year was NOK 462.00 and the lowest was NOK 90.80. The year-end closing price was NOK 148.75, representing a decrease of 41 percent from the 2007 year-end close. Yara’s market value as of Dec. 31, 2008, was NOK 43.37 billion, making Yara the fourth-largest company quoted on the OSE.

At year-end 2008, Yara had 46,015 shareholders. Non-Norwegian investors owned approximately 36 percent of the total stock, of which 12 percent were from the United States and 6 percent from the United Kingdom. The Norwegian State, through the Ministry of Trade and Industry, is the largest single owner, with 36.21 percent of the shares. Private Norwegian ownership of Yara shares was approximately 28 percent.

Yara share & OSEBX performance in 2008

Yara share & OSEBX performance in 2008 View graph

ADR performance and voting rights

Yara has a sponsored level 1 ADR (American Depository Receipt) program in the United States. The ADRs are not listed, but are bought and sold OTC, i.e. through any broker licensed to buy and sell US securities. One ADR represents one ordinary Yara share.

On 31 December 2007, the Yara ADR was quoted at USD 46.30. On 31 December 2008, the ADR was quoted at USD 22.03. For a recent price quote for Yara ADRs please go to JPMorgan’s website www.adr.com. The ticker symbol is YARIY.

In accordance with Norwegian corporate law, the physical presence of shareholders or their authorized representatives is required in order to vote. Shares must be registered at the Norwegian Central Securities Depository (Verdipapirsentralen) in the name of the real owner if the holders want the right to vote at the shareholders’ meeting. Holders of Yara ADRs should check their voting rights with JPMorgan, which is the depository bank for Yara ADRs. Contact details are given on the next page.

Cash distribution policy

Yara expects to return 40-45 percent of average net income to shareholders over a business cycle. Dividends should be minimum 30 percent of average net income, with share buy-backs making up the balance. Total cash returned to shareholders in 2008 was NOK 1,588 million or roughly 26 percent of 2007 net income.

Yara believes it will be beneficial for shareholders for the company to aim for a gradual increase and predictability in the absolute dividend level over time, independent of the business cycle. Consequently, Yara expects to pay out somewhat more than 30 percent of net income in years with weaker-than-average cash flow from operations, and less than 30 percent in years with stronger-than-average cash flow. The dividend pertaining to a fiscal year will be declared at Yara’s annual general meeting the following year.

The Board of Directors will propose a dividend payment of NOK 4.50 per share for 2008 to the Annual General Meeting, representing an increase of NOK 0.50 per share from the year before.

The General Meeting on 8 May 2008 authorized Yara’s Board of Directors to buy back up to five percent of total shares (14,578,767 shares) before 8 May 2009, at a purchase price not less than NOK 10 and not more than NOK 1,000. A precondition for the program was that an agreement had been signed with the Norwegian State, with the State committing itself to sell a proportional share of its holdings to leave the State’s ownership (36.21 percent) unchanged. As of 31 December 2008, Yara had bought 1,750,000 of own shares under the existing authorizations.

Yara’s 20 largest shareholders as of 31 December 2008

Holding (%)
Ministry of Trade and Industry, Norway 36.2
National Insurance Scheme Fund, Norway 6.2
Clearstream Banking (Nominee) 2.7
Brown Brothers Harriman & Co (Fidelity) 2.4
State Street Bank & Trust Co (Nominee) 2.2
Bank of New York Mellon (Nominee) 1.1
JPMorgan Chase (ADR-division) 1.0
Bank of New York, Brussels Branch (Nominee) 0.8
Rasmussengruppen AS 0.7
State Street Bank & Trust Co (Nominee) 0.7
DnB NOR Bank ASA 0.7
The Northern Trust Co (Nominee) 0.7
Societe Generale Global 0.7
Investors Bank & Trust Co (Nominee) 0.7
Morgan Stanley& Co 0.6
Bank of New York (State of New Jersey) 0.6
Yara International ASA 0.6
DnB NOR Norge 0.6
Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (Nominee) 0.5
Svenska Handelsbanken (Nominee) 0.5
Ownership structure as of 31 December 2008
No. of shares
No. of shareholders Percentage of share capital
1–100 24,137 0.34
101–1,000 17,417 2.20
1,001–10,000 3,569 3.66
10,001–100,000 654 7.05
100,001–one million 201 19.82
Over one million 37 66.93

Shareholding distribution

Shareholding distribution View graph

2009 Annual General Meeting

Yara’s shareholder meeting will take place at 18:00 (CET) Thursday 7 May 2009, at the Yara headquarters in Bygdøy allé 2, Oslo. Shareholders who wish to attend the Annual General Meeting are asked to inform Yara’s registrar by 12:00 CET on Tuesday 5 May 2009. Shareholders may also register electronically on the Yara web page www.yara.com/register or at the Norwegian Central Securities Depository investor services site at www.vps.no.

For more information on how to vote, consult our proxy voting form or visit our web site.

Analyst coverage

26 financial analysts provide market updates and estimates for Yara’s financial results, including 15 analysts located in the UK and North America. An updated list of analysts is found link.

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