Another delicious moment of investor joy - Mondelez increases dividend, share buybacks
On December 10, Mondelez announced a 7.7 percent increase in the dividend paid to shareholders. This announcement followed the December 3 announcement that it would be increasing the amount spent on share buybacks from USD 6 billion to USD 7.7 billion for an increase of 28.3 percent.The meaning of the dividend increase plus the additional USD 1.7 billion devoted to buybacks, known as the "accelerated share repurchase", is spelled out in the December 10 company release:Upon completion of the ASR, which is expected no later than the second quarter 2014, Mondelez International will have returned at least $4 billion to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases since its launch as a new company in October 2012.
This 4 billion dollar investor bonanza, which also hugely benefits top management receiving compensation in stock bonuses, comes after Mondelez eliminated thousands of jobs in its first year as a new company and has threatened further massive restructurings by closing "sub-optimal" units without specifying where the axe will fall. The company's enormous debt, which soaks up more than half of total sales revenue, is being used to fund investors binging on financial snacks rather than investment in the long-term future of the company and its employees.