Many long-suffering Fletcher Building investors are hoping the company decides to return capital to shareholders, notwithstanding lukewarm signals from the company. There's no question Fletcher will have cash to distribute if it wants to.

"Despite management's tepid position on capital management earlier this year, we still believe material shareholder returns are possible," says Forsyth Barr analyst Matt Henry.
He estimates that post the Formica sale, Fletcher will have about $1.7 billion of cash and only $550-850 million of debt maturing in the following 24 months.

Fletcher's net debt to earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation will be down to about

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