19 Oct 2011

Offshore investors behind Fletcher declines - analyst

6:59 am on 19 October 2011

Forsyth Barr head of research Rob Mercer says selling of Fletcher Building shares reflects a loss of confidence by offshore investors.

Fletcher Building's shareprice has taken the biggest hit of all New Zealand's listed companies during the turmoil on the markets this year.

It has dropped $3 since March when it was priced at around $9.50 per share.

On Tuesday, Fletcher Building shares fells a further 5.8% or 39 cents to close at $6.30.

Mr Mercer says offshore investors, in particular, are looking at companies' short-term prospects and Fletcher Building's recent profit warning saw the Australian market weaken substantially.

In a statement, the listed building products and construction firm said a weak Australasian housing market and further delays in Christchurch's rebuilding would hurt earnings.

Mr Mercer says local investors should see Fletcher Building as being good value now as it should be able to earn 50 cents per share, with dividends at 30 cents per share.