CFLs: A buck a bulb in South Dakota
A partnership between Xcel Energy, a utility company that provides power to South Dakota, and home improvement retailers will offer compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) for as little as a dollar each. The program, announced on July 23, is designed to help residents save energy and money.
Participating retailers include Nyberg’s Ace Hardware, Robson True Value, Home Depot, Menards and Tea Ace Hardware. In some cases, the discounted CFLs will be sold as singles; in others, they may only be available in multi-packs.
Xcel Energy, which operates in eight states, also offers $10 off certain LED bulbs as part of the program.
Pending home sales slip in June
The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, fell 1.4% to 99.3 in June from a downwardly revised 100.7 in May but is 9.5% higher than June 2011 when it was 90.7, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The data reflect contracts but not closings.
The index marks 14 consecutive months of year-over-year gains.
“Buyer interest remains strong but fewer home listings mean fewer contract signing opportunities,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “We’ve been seeing a steady decline in the level of housing inventory, which is most pronounced in the lower price ranges popular with first-time buyers and investors.”
According to the Realtors Confidence Index, the buyer traffic index was 60 in June, while the seller index was 41, which shows an imbalance between buyer and seller interest. A value of 50 implies neutral market conditions.
The PHSI in the Northeast fell 7.6% to 76.6 in June but is 12.2% higher than a year ago. In the Midwest, the index slipped 0.4% to 94.4 in June but is 17.3% above June 2011. Pending home sales in the South declined 2.0% to an index of 106.2 in June but are 8.8% above a year earlier. In the West, the index rose 2.6% in June to 111.5 and is 3.0% higher than June 2011.
Sales jump 20% at Trex
Decking manufacturer Trex Co. reported net sales of $94.3 million for its second fiscal quarter, a 20% rise over sales of $78.4 million in the same quarter last year. Net income for the second quarter, which ended June 30, 2012, was $8.3 million, compared with net income of $2.1 million a year ago.
During the second quarter of 2012, the company set aside $1.1 million to its warranty reserve for decking material manufactured at its Nevada plant prior to 2007 and also registered $0.7 million in severance costs. Before these one-time charges, net income was $10.1 million.
Chairman, president and CEO Ronald Kaplan projected sales to remain strong in the third quarter, with net sales totaling “approximately $70 million.”
Based in Winchester, Va., Trex manufactures wood-alternative decking and railing that is now sold in 26 countries.