Larry Schlesinger | 15 January 2013

Stockland shares trade up as Mark Steinert completes first day in charge

New Stockland boss Mark Steinert received a favourable welcome from the stock market to his first day in the office with its share price rising 5 cents to $3.53 yesterday, in a market that went up 0.2%.

Steinert, a former UBS investment banker, replaced long-serving managing director and CEO Matthew Quinn to head up Australia’s largest residential developer.

The stock gain will no doubt please Quinn who walked away with 2.25 million shares worth around $7.8 million at yesterday’s closing price  - and worth little bit more today with the share price up to $3.56 by mid-morning.

When Quinn announced his decision to step down on July 25, the Stockland share price was $3.24. It rose 3 cents to $3.43 when Steinert was appointed on November 29.

Challenges for Steinert will include restoring market confidence in Stockland after it suffered three earnings downgrades last year and trying to turn around its struggling Melbourne residential business – Stockland is heavily exposed in Melbourne with eight residential communities in development on the fringes of Melbourne.

No dramatic changes are expected to be made by Steinert in the first six months of his tenure, but he is expected to re-appraise Quinn’s '3Rs' strategy, with its focus on residential, retail and retirement developments.

Steinert told analysts at a conference call late last year following his appointment, that he intends to undertake “deep analysis” before making any changes to strategy.

According to the Australian Financial Review, another thorn in Stockland’s side is its 15% investment in the struggling FKP Property Group.

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