Weyerhaeuser turns a profit on forest products

Weyerhaeuser Co. reported strong figures for the second quarter of 2014, with positive results the company attributed to the recent divestment of its home-building business and doubled-down focus on its wood products.

"The strong results for each of our businesses in the second quarter reflect our relentless focus on operational excellence," said Doyle Simons, president and CEO. "Through the recent divestiture of our home-building business and last year's Longview Timber acquisition, we have created a focused forest products company committed to driving operational improvements and fully capitalizing on the continued measured recovery in U.S. housing markets and the overall economy."

Net sales for the company tapped in at $1.96 billion, up 4.8% from $1.87 billion in the same period last year.

Net earnings attributable to shareholders was $280 million, up 42.9% from the second quarter of 2013. This includes an after-tax earnings of $22 million from discontinued operations, namely that of Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company (WRECO), which merged with TRI Pointe Homes earlier in July.

Weyerhaeuser's wood products business experienced a 19.9% sales boost to $1.07 billion, with higher sales volumes across the board and higher average selling prices for engineered wood products. However, there were lower average realizations for lumber and oriented strand board.

The company also noted strong demand for domestic and Chinese export logs, which contributed to higher volumes in the West.

Weyerhaeuser also predicted lower earnings for the third quarter from its Timberlands segment, with seasonally lower sales volumes and prices for domestic and export logs in the West. Higher silviculture and road costs are anticipated for the South, offset by increased fee harvest volumes.

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