US Fund Manager Takes Stake in Fletcher Building

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Tuesday, March 24th, 2015
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US fund manager BlackRock, which manages more than $US4.7 trillion ($A5.96 trillion) in assets worldwide, has built up a five per cent stake in Fletcher Building.

The US fund manager has declared it held 34.4 million shares, or 5.005 per cent, of the Auckland-based construction and building supplies firm through various related companies, according to substantial shareholder notice lodged with the NZX.

The notice covers trading in the shares starting in November, and includes purchases at prices ranging from $NZ8.04 to $NZ8.97.

In February, Fletcher posted a 26 per cent drop in profit to $NZ114 million ($A110.78 million) in the six months ended December 31 on a one per cent increase in sales to $NZ4.3 billion.

The cost of goods sold climbed 2.2 per cent to $NZ3.3b, resulting in a 1.5 per cent decline in gross margin.

The company flagged that operating earnings for the full year would be toward the lower end of the $NZ650m-$NZ690m guidance it gave in October, “due to the rapid deterioration in the mining and infrastructure sectors in Australia”. That would still be up from 2014’s $NZ624m.

Shares of Fletcher last traded at $NZ8.85 and have gained 6.6 per cent since the start of 2015.

 

By Suze Metherell
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