Cement shares in freefall

Cement shares in freefall
Published: 18 September 2008

With financial markets in turmoil and a deteriorating outlook for global construction activity, shares in many of the leading cement companies have tumbled. 

Of the majors, Cemex has been the worst affected and its shares have hit a new low for the year, with latest trades showing at 18.63 pesos per share, a 48.2 per cent drop from this year’s peak.  This compares with similar steep declines of 46.5 per cent for Italcementi, 44.4 per cent for CRH and 42 per cent for Buzzi Unicem. 

The two largest cement producers have fared a little better, with Lafarge now down by 38.6 per cent and
Holcim by 36.6 per cent. 

On a slightly brighter note, the share price  performance of the tightly held Cimpor has been the best as the shares are a ’mere’ 32.1 per cent down from the year’s peak.

Analysts we spoke to remain somewhat non-commital over whether this present downward cycle is coming to an end but even at these prices, there are clearly some useful ’buy’ opportunities for the serious investor.