Metro Glass shares hit record low as senior manager quits
By Sophie Boot
Nov. 2 (BusinessDesk) - Metro Performance Glass shares fell to a record low, dropping 4.3 percent to 90 cents, as a member of the senior management team leaves.
Grant Davies, investment advisor at Hamilton Hindin Greene, said the company had disappointed the market "over and over" in the course of its listed life, with multiple earnings downgrades. The shares listed after an initial public offering at $1.70 in July 2014 and reached a record $2.23 last September.
"The confidence of investors at that point starts to wane, and it doesn't take much to hit that confidence again," Davies said. "Clearly the market doesn't have a huge amount of confidence in the management, and it's going to take a couple of good results to earn that back." There is also concern in the market about the building sector more generally, with Fletcher Building and Steel & Tube Holdings seeing share price weakness this year, Davies said.
Metro Glass' first-half results are due on Nov. 27, and in October it reiterated its expectation of improved full-year results. It delivered a $19.4 million net profit for the year to March 31.
The shares sank 10 percent to $1.19 in August when the company said it expected its first-half results to be largely flat, having already warned that annual earnings would Last month, Metro Glass said it will carry out a strategic review of all aspects of its business while trimming forecast capital expenditure for the current financial year by as much as a fifth.
Last Friday, the Accident Compensation Corporation announced it had downgraded its stake in Metro Glass to 6.4 percent, from 7.4 percent it had previously held. Between Aug. 30 and Oct. 27, ACC sold 2 million shares on-market for $2.09 million, it said. Milford Asset Management recently sold its stake to 6.8 percent from 7.8 percent, while the New Zealand Superannuation Fund has lifted its holding to 7.3 percent from 6.2 percent.
Separately, Metro Glass announced that its North Island general manager Dean Brown will be leaving the company with effect from Dec. 7 "to pursue other opportunities."
The role is one of three regional managers promoted to the company's New Zealand senior leadership team earlier this year, along with general manager operations Geoff Rasmussen and general manager South Island Barry Paterson. Metro Glass said the company will not fill the position, and Brown's responsibilities will be "redistributed on a functional basis within the expanded senior leadership team."