Qantas Airways: Financial Modelling and Dividend Policy
(6 pages of text)
Case (Pub Mat)
In 2014, Australia’s national airline Qantas Airways Limited (Qantas) faced one of the most difficult years in its history. Following a loss of AU$2.8 billion, the airline’s chief executive officer asserted that government intervention was necessary. He wanted the government to publicly guarantee the airline’s debt, which would secure its credit rating and provide relief in challenging circumstances. His efforts were unsuccessful. Qantas instead embarked on a structural review and company transformation, seeking to repair its balance sheet and improve free cash flow. On August 23, 2016, having completed one of Australia’s largest and most public corporate turnarounds, Qantas announced AU$1.53 billion in underlying profit. Inevitably, questions arose as to how Qantas would reward long-suffering shareholders. Having overcome trying financial problems, Qantas was facing a different challenge: whether, and how, to return cash to shareholders, having not paid a dividend for seven years.
Qantas Airways Limited (Qantas) was Australia’s largest international airline group. It had recently experienced some volatile years despite an enviable safety record: Over 2013, the share price fell more than 26 per cent due to foreign ownership restrictions and soaring oil prices. However, in late 2014 and early 2015, Qantas experienced a sharp rebound with favourable foreign exchange rates and a reduction in oil prices. By August 2016, the company had announced an underlying profit of AU$1.53 billion. Should Qantas pay a dividend to its shareholders—something it had not done for the past seven years?
Transportation and Warehousing
Australia, Large, 2016
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