PARIS — In yet another clear sign of the luxury sector’s growing strength, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton on Wednesday supplanted petrol-maker Total as the number-one ranked stock by market capitalization on the CAC 40 here.
It is the first time that the parent of brands including Louis Vuitton, Guerlain, Moët & Chandon and Tag Heuer has ever held that position on the French market.
By the close of the trading day Wednesday, the luxury behemoth’s stock had risen 1.2 percent to 230.85 euros, or $251.78 at current exchange, representing a market capitalization of 117.06 billion euros, or $127.69 billion.
Total shares, meanwhile, were down 0.2 percent to 46.77 euros, or $51.02, which translates to a capitalization of 116.11 billion euros, or $126.63 billion.
LVMH has made a swift ascent on the CAC 40. Just a month ago it was some two rungs lower in the market’s ranking. Since the beginning of 2017, the company’s stock has climbed 25.7 percent.
That was powered in no small part by the news announced — and welcomed by analysts and investors — in late April that Bernard Arnault had decided to bring Christian Dior Couture into the LVMH fold for 6.5 billion euros, or $7.09 billion.
In tandem, Groupe Arnault, the investment firm controlled by the Arnault family, said it will make an offer of up to 12.1 billion euros, or $13.2 billion, for the 25.7 percent stake in the Christian Dior Group that it does not currently control, using its remaining stake in Hermès International as partial payment, as reported.
LVMH also posted a 15 percent gain in revenues in the first quarter of the year, marking its strongest quarterly growth in five years. Sales in the January through March period reached 9.9 billion euros, or $10.55 billion at average exchange, significantly beating market expectations.
By contrast to the heady gains luxury companies have made since the start of 2017, including Kering at plus 33.5 percent, Total’s shares have declined 3.9 percent on the CAC 40.