Samsung (SSNLF) stock closed at a new record Thursday after it reported a solid first quarter and conceded to a push by activist investor Elliott Management to boost returns by cancelling some of the shares it holds in its treasury.
The electronics giant said that first quarter revenue came in at 50.55 trillion Korean won ($44 billion), and increase of around 1.5% year on year, while operating profit rose nearly 50% to 9.90 trillion won.
Samsung also said it will cancel more than 40 trillion won of shares held in its treasury as its strong balance sheet and improved cash position means that it no longer sees any need to hold them.
The move marks a partial victory for activist investor Elliott Management, who has been pushing for the cancellation alongside a broad range of reforms.
Shares of Samsung closed nearly 5% higher Thursday, at 1,719,000 won each, a new peak for Asia's most valuable company.
However, Elliott's victory is not complete as Samsung also said Thursday that it will not be converting itself into a holding company, which was a key pillar of the activist's proposed reforms for the company.
Samsung said that a holding company structure would not help it to strengthen its competitiveness and that it could complicate its operations in the longer term.
A strong first quarter performance provides what is no doubt a welcome distraction for shareholders who, in recent months, have seen Samsung rocked by a number of high profile indictments in the boardroom.
In March Jay Y. Lee, vice chairman of the executive board, and company president Choong-Ki Chang, were both charged by authorities in South Korea over allegations of embezzlement. Multiple other executives were also charged.
The move followed investigations related to an influence peddling scandal that brought down South Korea's President Park Geun-hye.