LUMBERYARDS

BlueLinx reports Q1 revenues up 10.9%

BY Ken Clark

Atlanta-based BlueLinx Holdings reported revenues of $503.2 million for the first quarter ended March 30 — that’s a 10.9% increase from $453.7 million in the same quarter last year.

Despite the double-digit gain, BlueLinx posted a wider net loss of $12.6 million in the quarter, compared with a loss of $11.0 million in last year’s second quarter. 

Gross margins were 11.2% compared with 12.0% a year ago.

"While our business is off to a good start in several parts of the country, our specialty sales declined in two of our largest regions, both of which greatly benefited from last year’s early spring,” said George Judd, president and CEO. “Wood-based structural product prices have risen significantly, and we experienced increased demand in regions with less severe winters. We believe that the sustained growth in both housing starts and permits will continue, which will in turn drive growth in other areas, such as repair and remodeling. BlueLinx is well positioned to grow in all regions as we move into the spring."

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Earnings and revenues grow in Q1 for Plum Creek

BY Ken Clark

Plum Creek Timber Co. today announced first-quarter earnings of $56 million on revenues of $340 million.

In the same quarter last year, earnings were $29 million, on revenues of $337 million.

“The financial performance of each of our business segments improved compared with the first quarter of 2012," said Rick Holley, CEO. "We’re on track to grow our non-real estate adjusted EBITDA by $50 million this year. Our first-quarter growth in this area was $12 million." 

In late March 2013, the company restarted production at its Evergreen sawmill, which had been idle since 2009. The mill will operate with one shift and will produce approximately 40 million board feet of dimensional lumber annually. 

“The year is off to a strong start and we’ve seen meaningful price improvement for sawlogs in the Northwest where lumber production has grown the most,” continued Holley. “In the South, we are seeing pockets of strength in geographies where customers have increased production. We’re encouraged by what we’re experiencing in our markets and the trends we are seeing in residential construction."

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Weyerhaeuser posts Q1 gains

BY Ken Clark

Braced by strong sales of wood products, Federal Way, Wash.-based Weyerhaeuser Co. reported net earnings of $144 million for the first quarter. This compares with net earnings before special items of $9 million for the same period last year.

Net sales for the first quarter of 2013 rose 33% to $2.0 billion, compared with net sales of $1.5 billion for the first quarter of 2012.

"Our Wood Products business reported its strongest quarterly earnings since 2005, as we effectively leveraged operational improvements in a strengthening housing market," said Dan Fulton, president and CEO.

The Wood Products segement’s contribution to earnings soared to $178 million in the first quarter, compared with $38 million the fourth quarter last year. 

The company’s business segments are timberlands, wood products, fiber and real estate. 

Fulton added that the improved performance was matched by an 18% increase to the company’s  quarterly dividend.

Weyerhaeuser said it expects higher sales volumes across all product lines of its Wood Products segment in the second quarter, offset by slightly lower average selling prices for lumber and oriented strand board and slightly higher raw material costs.

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