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Alpine Lumber expands to New Mexico

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Alpine Lumber, the 15-unit pro dealer, has purchased five yards from AC Houston in Las Vegas, expanding the Colorado chain into New Mexico. The new locations are in Angel Fire, Gallup, and Farmington, N.M.; as well as Durango and Crested Butte, Colo.

Bill Miller, Alpine’s chairman, CEO and president, confirmed the purchase in a phone interview with HCN but said he would have no further comment. Before the acquisition, Alpine operated 10 lumberyards along Colorado’s Front Range and Western slope, two truss shops, two millwork operations, three professional paint supply operations and a pre-built stair shop.

Based in Westminster, Colo., outside of Denver, Alpine Lumber is a 100 percent employee-owned company that reported $189 million in sales in 2006.

AC Houston opened in Kansas in 1884 and relocated its headquarters to Las Vegas in 1998. The third-generation lumberyard operated 11 locations, including truss and wall panel plants, in five western states prior to the Alpine Lumber deal. Sales in 2006 were $157 million.

Chief executive Robert Houston said the company will continue to do business from its yards in Las Vegas; Ketchum, Idaho; and Indio and Sacramento, Calif.

“Absolutely,” Houston told HCN. “We will continue to do so for many years to come.”

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Bed Bath & Beyond declines in fourth quarter

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Specialty retailer Bed Bath & Beyond posted weaker fourth-quarter earnings, due in part to an extra week in last year’s fourth quarter. The company saw earnings of $172.9 million, down 16 percent from $205.8 million in the same period last year.

Net sales for the fourth quarter were $1.93 billion, down 3 percent from last year’s fourth quarter. Comparable-store sales for the fiscal fourth quarter of 2007 decreased by 0.4 percent.

For the fiscal year, which again was one week shorter than the previous fiscal year, the company saw earnings decline 5.3 percent to $562.8 million from $594.2 million a year ago.

Net sales for the year were $7.049 billion, an increase of 6.5 percent from last year. Year-over-year, comparable-store sales increased by 1 percent. The company opened 22 new stores in the fourth quarter, including its first location in Canada.

The retailer said it expects comparable-store sales to be relatively flat or negative in 2008. Bed Bath & Beyond also warned investors it expects a per-share percentage decline in 2008 earnings from the low double-digits to mid-teens.

Bed Bath & Beyond operates a total of 971 stores nationwide.

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Canfor reduces production

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Vancouver, B.C.-based Canfor is reducing its production volume to reflect market realities. The company pointed to “falling demand and poor pricing for softwood lumber with no indications of a market recovery in the near future.”

Canfor will be reducing workweeks at a number of its operations. In addition, Canfor’s Prince George Sawmill will move from three shifts to two and its Clear Lake finger joint operation from two shifts to one. This move will reduce Canfor’s annualized lumber production by approximately 600 million board feet.

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