LUMBERYARDS

Boise Cascade swings to a gain

BY Ken Clark

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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Weyerhaeuser gives hardwood floors an edge

BY Ken Clark

Federal Way, Wash.-based Weyerhaeuser introduced Hardwood Edge, an OSB floor panel specifically engineered for use under hardwood floors.

“Hardwood flooring is one of the most popular finishes for new homes, but it requires a stable, reliable subfloor that can withstand the high moisture conditions we have here in the Mid-Atlantic,” said David Walters, tactical product manager for Weyerhaeuser OSB. “Hardwood Edge flooring’s increased density and superior fastener-holding properties ensure hardwood flooring goes down easily and stays put, helping to reduce callbacks.” 

Hardwood Edge flooring is initially available in the Mid-Atlantic region only. 

Hardwood flooring poses unique challenges for installers: The inherent swelling and shrinkage of wood as a natural material, improper acclimatization of hardwood, and insufficient drying time if the OSB is wet can work together to loosen fasteners, which can lead to pops and squeaks in a finished floor. Hardwood Edge panels are the result of multiple years of research by Weyerhaeuser, working closely with builders and flooring contractors, to create a product that is designed for use under all hardwood floors.

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Versatex hires industry veterans

BY Ken Clark

Describing its new hires as “seasoned professionals,” Pittsburgh-based Versatex Trimboard bolstered its field sales lineup.

Rich Maurer, Versatex’s new regional sales manager for the Southeast, is based in Greenville, S.C. He will cover North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee and the Gulf region. He brings with him more than 20 years of field sales experience. Most recently, he served as regional business manager for Patterson Pope, a distributor specializing in storage solutions for institutions and industry. 

Darren Kennedy, who joins Versatex as a market development specialist for western New York and Ontario, is based in Rochester, N.Y. His new territory stretches from Erie, Pa., to Albany, N.Y., and all across Ontario. He comes from Kennedy Home Center in Wellsboro, Pa.

Versatex Trimboard products are manufactured by Wolfpac Technologies of Pittsburgh, whose state-of-the-art facility produces cellular PVC trimboards, sheet, beadboard, moldings and prefabricated corners, as well as the innovative Versatex soffit system. 

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