BlueLinx Q4 financial report offers a mixed bag

Building products distributor BlueLinx reported sales gains for the fourth quarter and full year, but still finished in the red. 

For the quarter, sales increased 10.4% to $486.3 million. The company narrowed its fourth quarter net loss to $2.5 million, compared to a net loss of $11.4 million in the same quarter last year. 

"Our operating performance for the fourth quarter of 2013 represents an improvement in net sales reflecting continued market recovery while our Adjusted EBITDA improved over 2012 levels," said president and CEO Mitch Lewis. "We are gaining traction on the previously announced restructuring efforts that were completed in 2013. Our organization is intently focused on improving our gross margins and operating more efficiently to facilitate leveraging our incremental volume to enhance our financial performance."

For the full year, sales improved 12.8% to $2.15 billion. However, the company's net loss increased to $40.6 million, nearly twice that of 2012. 

Lewis said he agreed with the consensus forecast of total housing starts to increase in 2014 to about 1.1 million. He also said the company expects residential repair and remodeling activity to grow at a pace of 4% to 5%. 

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