As benchmark indices, the Nasdaq Composite gained 12 percent and the TecDax gained 19 percent during this six month period, while the DAX lost 3 percent. Software AG stock thus outperformed all benchmark indices, proving that Software AG ‘s business model is robust even in difficult economic times. The current growth drivers of direct sales in Brazil and the maintenance business have contributed in particular to the Company‘s success and increased investors‘ confidence in Software AG.
Intensive and constant communication with the capital markets is an inherent component of our investor relations work, and we accordingly engaged in numerous discussions with investors and analysts in the first six months of 2009. In addition to roadshows in Germany and the rest of Europe, we primarily focused on participation in conferences where we efficiently reach a large number of investors and obtain valuable feedback for the optimization of our financial communications.
Our annual shareholders‘ meeting this year was held in the “darmstadtium“ in Darmstadt on April 30, 2009 and about 66% of equity capital entitled to vote was present. Dr. Andreas Bereczky was confirmed in his office as a member of the Supervisory Board. As the new Chairman of the Supervisory Board, he succeeds Frank F. Beelitz who left the Supervisory Board of Software AG after serving for ten years as its chairman and member. A newly elected member of the Supervisory Board is Heinz Otto Geidt who represents the major shareholder Software AG Foundation.
We again received numerous awards for our investor relations work this year. We received the Capital Investor Relations Award 2009 in the TecDax. We were also in first place in the overall rating which includes all German indices as well as the EuroStoxx 50. We were also ranked first in the TecDax for “Best IR“ by the Wirtschaftswoche economic journal (carried out by Thomson Reuters Extel), and Net- Federation once again rated our comprehensive online information source as the “Best IR Website“ in the TecDax.
Twenty-two brokerage houses currently analyze Software AG ‘s stock. Six of them have issued a “buy“ recommendation, eight a “hold“ recommendation and seven recommend “sell.“ One of them did not publish a recommendation. Additional analysts have announced interest in our Company and plan to start coverage sometime during the year.
Software AG Foundation continues to hold about 8.6 million shares. The free float is approximately 71 percent of the outstanding shares and is held by institutional investors and numerous private investors. Regionally, almost half of the identifiable shareholdings (excluding the Software AG Foundation) are in the hand of German institutional investors. The rest is primarily dispersed among the United Kingdom (about 26%), Continental Europe (about 16%) and the U.S. (about 7%).