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Why the Fletcher Building Limited share price is crashing 

Fletcher Building Limited (ASX: FBU) resumed trade today following last Thursday’s trading halt, dropping 12% this morning on the ASX. 

The New Zealand construction giant completed the review of 16 projects in its Building + Interiors (B+I) business, reporting NZ$486 million in losses beyond those already flagged in October 2017. Projected EBIT loss for the B+I division now amounts to NZ$660 million (about AU$610 million), nearly offsetting the NZ$680 million to NZ$720 million earnings guidance for the Fletcher Building Group excluding B+I. 

Fletcher Building chairman and former Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) CEO Sir Ralph Norris announced he will step down no later than the next AGM.     

The expected loss on B+I provoked a breach of Fletcher Building’s financial covenants on its two main debt structures – a commercial banking syndicate and US private placement – accounting for NZ$2.4 billion of funding. The company received a waiver from banks and is negotiating a similar exemption with noteholders. Failure to agree to new terms with lenders would result in a default, but Fletcher Building reaffirmed its solvency.  

In line with the company’s dividend policy, shareholders won’t receive a interim dividend for the current half year. 

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Motley Fool contributor Tommaso Autorino has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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