Roche's Reluctance To Share Money With Shareholders Raises M&A Questions

Published: Jan 30, 2014

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Roche offered shareholders a lower-than-expected dividend payout after reporting an 18 percent rise in full-year net profit, potentially a sign the Swiss pharmaceuticals group might be keeping its cash for deals. Roche - the world's largest maker of cancer drugs - has a track record of solid profit growth prompting expectations of a more generous dividend, share buyback or M&A. It said on Thursday it planned to pay a dividend of 7.80 Swiss francs per share, up 6 percent over the previous year, and would keep hiking payouts. But this fell short of the mean estimate of 7.98 Swiss francs in a Reuters poll.

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