No dividend from Daimler for 2009 on surprise losses, shares fall

daimler-logoThe Stuttgart, Germany-based manufacturer of luxury vehicles, posted an unexpected fourth-quarter loss and said it won't be able to pay the annual dividend, sending the shares in a tailspin, the most in 11 months. Formerly, DaimlerChrysler, Chrysler was sold to Cerberus Capital Management a private equity firm in New York in May, 2007.

The second largest luxury car maker after Bayerische Motoren Werke, better known as BMW, had a 352 million-euro quarterly loss, when compared to 1.5 billion euros loss in the same period of the previous year.

Sales fell 11 per cent from 21.3 billion euros, when compared with a year ago to 20.8 billion euros even as deliveries bounced back in the backdrop of a fading recession.

Dividend will not be paid for 2009 for the first time in 14 years, but the company will pay a dividend again in 2010 and for subsequent years, said CFO Bodo Uebber. This year Daimler expects a 3-4 per cent growth in sales, overall as car and truck demand picks up, albeit slowly.