Frequently asked questions
Where are Novartis shares traded?
Novartis shares are listed and traded on the SIX Swiss Exchange (Valor No. 001200526, ISIN CH0012005267, symbol: NOVN.VX) as well as on the NYSE in the form of American Depositary Receipts (ADR) (Valor No. 567514, ISIN US66987V1098, symbol: NVS).
What are the ticker symbols for Novartis?
(Reuters / Bloomberg)
(Reuters / Bloomberg)
Shares NOVN.VX / NOVN VX ADRs NVS / NVS US
What is an ADR/ADS?
ADR stands for American Depositary Receipt. ADS stands for American Depositary Share. An ADR is a receipt for a number of shares of a foreign-based corporation held by a US depositary bank, entitling the ADR holder to all dividends and capital gains.
What is the number of outstanding shares in Novartis?
Key Novartis share data
(calculated on average number of shares outstanding)
2014 2013 Issued shares 2 706 193 000 2 706 193 000 Treasury shares1 307 566 743 280 108 692 Outstanding shares at December 31 2 398 626 257 2 426 084 308 Average number of shares outstanding 2 425 782 324 2 440 849 805
- Approximately 153 million treasury shares (2013: 149 million) are held in entities that limit their availability for use.
What is the number of outstanding ADRs in Novartis?
Key data on US American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) issued in the US
2014 2013 Year-end ADR price (USD) 92.66 80.38 ADRs outstanding1 307 623 364 317 193 803
- The depositary, JP Morgan Chase Bank, holds one Novartis AG share for every American Depositary Receipt (ADR) issued.
- Where can I find historical data for Novartis shares?
Can I deposit Novartis shares free of charge?
For residents of Switzerland you can deposit them through SIX SAG.
What is SIX SAG?
SIX SAG is an affiliate company of the SIX Group AG. Its business activities include share register and deposit administration as well as the organization and staging of shareholder meetings. For additional information, please contact:
Novartis Direct Share Purchase Plan
c/o SIX SAG Ltd
+41 58 399 61 99
+41 58 499 61 98
What is the date of your Annual General Meeting?
The Annual General Meeting 2015 took place on February 27, 2015 in Basel, Switzerland.
When was your dividend paid in 2014?
The dividend payment date was set for March 4, 2014.
What is the dividend history for Novartis shares?
The Novartis dividend has increased steadily since 1996.
The Board of Directors proposed a 6% increase in the dividend payment for 2014 to CHF 2.60 per share (2013: CHF 2.45), and this was approved at the Annual General Meeting on February 27, 2015.
This represented the 18th consecutive increase in the dividend paid per share since the creation of Novartis in December 1996.
The dividend payment date has been set for March 5, 2015.
- How can I obtain the minutes of the Annual General Meeting?
General Financial Questions
How do you calculate your earning per share?
Basic earnings per share (EPS) is calculated by dividing net income attributable to shareholders of Novartis AG by the weighted average number of shares outstanding in a reporting period. This calculation excludes the average number of issued shares purchased by the Group and held as treasury shares.
2014 2013 Basic earnings per share
Weighted average number of shares outstanding (in millions)
2,426 2,441 Net income attributable to shareholders of Novartis AG (USD millions) - Continuing operations 10,654 9,189 - Discontinuing operations -444 -14 Total 10,210 9,175 Basic earnings per share (USD ) - Continuing operations 4.39 3.76 - Discontinuing operations -0.18 0.00 Total 4.21 3.76
Novartis shares are widely held. As of December 31, 2014, Novartis had approximately 150 000 shareholders (2013: 155 000) listed in its share register, representing 70% of issued shares.
Based on the Novartis AG share register and excluding treasury shares held by Novartis AG and its subsidiaries (excluding foundations), approximately 41% (2013: 41%) of the shares registered by name were held in Switzerland and 47% were held in the US (2013: 47%).
Approximately 12% of the shares registered in the share register were held by individual investors, while 88% were held by legal entities, nominees, fiduciaries and the ADS depositary.
Are there any limitations on voting rights for registered shareholders?
The Company’s Articles of Incorporation state that no person or entity shall be registered with the right to vote for more than 2% of the share capital as set forth in the Commercial Register. In particular cases the Board of Directors may allow exemptions from the limitation for registration in the share register.
According to the share register, shareholders owning 2% or more of the Company’s capital at December 31, excluding treasury shares held by Novartis AG and other Novartis subsidiaries, are as follows:
% holding of share capital
December 31, 2014
% holding of share capital
December 31, 2013
Novartis Foundation for Employee Participation, Basel 3.2 3.0 Emasan AG, Basel 3.3 3.3
Norges Bank (Central Bank of Norway), Oslo, which held more than 2% of the share capital of Novartis AG as of December 31, 2013, held less than that amount as of December 31, 2014.
When does the fiscal year end for Novartis?
Novartis uses the 12-month calendar year, ending December 31, as its fiscal year.
- Where can I find historical financial information about Novartis?
What is the exposure to exchange rate risk for Novartis?
We transact our business in many currencies other than the US dollar, our reporting currency.
The following provides an overview of net sales and operating expenses for our continuing operations based on IFRS values for 2014 and 2013 for currencies most important to the Group:
US dollar (USD) Net sales 36 36 Operating expenses 39 40 Euro (EUR) Net sales 26 26 Operating expenses 25 25 Swiss franc (CHF) Net sales 2 2 Operating expenses 13 12 Japanese yen (JPY) Net sales 7 8 Operating expenses 5 5 Russian ruble (RUB) Net sales 2 2 Operating expenses 1 1 Other currencies Net sales 27 26 Operating expenses 17 17
Operating expenses in the above table include Cost of goods sold, Marketing & Sales, Research & Development, General & Administration, Other income and Other expense.
We prepare our consolidated financial statements in US dollars. As a result, fluctuations in the exchange rates between the US dollar and other currencies can have a significant effect on both the Group’s results of operations as well as on the reported value of our assets, liabilities and cash flows. This in turn may significantly affect reported earnings (both positively and negatively) and the comparability of period-to-period results of operations.
For purposes of our consolidated balance sheets, we translate assets and liabilities denominated in other currencies into US dollars at the prevailing market exchange rates as of the relevant balance sheet date. For purposes of the Group’s consolidated income and cash flow statements, revenue, expense and cash flow items in local currencies are translated into US dollars at average exchange rates prevailing during the relevant period. As a result, even if the amounts or values of these items remain unchanged in the respective local currency, changes in exchange rates have an impact on the amounts or values of these items in our consolidated financial statements.
Because our expenditures in Swiss francs are significantly higher than our revenues in Swiss francs, volatility in the value of the Swiss franc can have a significant impact on the reported value of our earnings, assets and liabilities, and the timing and extent of such volatility can be difficult to predict. In addition, there is a risk that certain countries could take other steps which could significantly impact the value of their currencies. Such steps could include “quantitative easing” measures and potential withdrawals by countries from common currencies.
What accounting convention does Novartis follow?
Our significant accounting policies are set out in Note 1 to the Group’s consolidated financial statements, which are prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB).
Given the uncertainties inherent in our business activities, we must make certain estimates and assumptions that require difficult, subjective and complex judgments. Because of uncertainties inherent in such judgments, actual outcomes and results may differ from our assumptions and estimates, which could materially affect the Group’s consolidated financial statements. Application of the following accounting policies requires certain assumptions and estimates that have the potential for the most significant impact on our consolidated financial statements.
- How can I get a copy of your Annual Report?
Investor Relations Customer Services
- How can I obtain SEC documents, such as the 10-K or 20-F?
- How can I get information on your key pharmaceutical products?
- How can I get information on the dates Novartis will report sales and earnings?
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For all other investor relations-related questions
Please contact us at investor relations contacts
For all other share registry-related questions
Please contact us at share registry contact