LUMBERYARDS

Boise Cascade reports sales gains

BY Ken Clark

Boise Cascade posted first-quarter sales of $744.9 million, an increase of 26.9% compared with the same quarter last year.

Income from operations increased to $24.6 million, up from $6.2 million in the prior-year quarter.

Higher manufacturing costs, including wood costs, pushed expenses. Materials, labor and other operating expenses increased $134.7 million, or 26%, to $644.8 million for the three months ended March 31, compared with $510.1 million during the same period in the prior year. 

Wood products sales, including sales to the company’s Building Materials Distribution segment, increased 28%. Building Materials Distribution sales increased 29%. 

“We expect to continue to experience demand below 20-year average historical levels for the products we manufacture and distribute,” the company wrote in its quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. “However, the housing industry has shown signs of improvement in the U.S., and we remain optimistic that the recent improvement in demand for our products will continue.” 

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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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