Boise Cascade swings to a gain

Boise Cascade Co., the industry’s most recent addition to the ranks of publicly traded companies, increased fourth-quarter sales as it swung to a gain.

"We experienced a fourth consecutive quarter of positive income from operations, underscored by strong plywood prices and improved demand for the products we manufacture and distribute,” said Tom Carlile, CEO.

Overall, the company’s fourth-quarter sales were $694.6 million, up 26.9%. For the full year, total sales were up 24% to $2.779 billion.

Net income was $1.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with a net loss of $13.8 million in the same period last year. For the full year, net income improved to $41.5 million, compared with a net loss of $46.4 million in 2011.  

BMD segment sales were $553.1 million in the fourth quarter, up 29% from the same quarter a year ago.

“We are pleased with our successful initial public offering (IPO) completed on Feb. 11, 2013,” Carlile said. “The IPO, together with our debt refinancing in early fourth quarter 2012, provides the company with a strong liquidity position to take advantage of continued improvement in the markets, execute strategic initiatives within our existing operations and evaluate growth opportunities." 

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were $17.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2012 and $96.6 million for the full year. 

The company closely watches residential construction stats, which drive business to a large extent. While U.S. housing starts improved 28% to 780,000 in 2012, compared with 609,000 in 2011, housing start levels remain significantly below the historical average for the last 20 years of approximately 1.4 million units per year, the company noted. However, as of February 2013, Blue Chip consensus forecast for 2013 is 990,000, a 27% increase from 2012 levels.

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