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D.R. Horton sales orders plunge in third quarter

BY HBSDEALER Staff

D.R. Horton, considered the nation’s second-largest home builder, today announced that sales orders decreased 40.2 percent in the third quarter, citing an inventory glut and increased foreclosures.

For the quarter ended June 30, the Fort Worth, Texas-based company sold 8,559 homes, down from 14,316 homes during the same quarter in 2006. The company also said that the average price per unit dropped 12 percent to $233,672, down from $265,437 a year ago. Orders declined in every region, with the worst declines coming in California and the northeast.

Meanwhile the cancellation rate — or orders canceled divided by gross sales orders — reached 38 percent, which is high by industry standards. With these results, D.R. Horton is set to record a major third-quarter loss later this month. Further, the company doesn’t expect the housing market to rebound in the near future.

“We expect the housing environment to remain challenging,” Chairman Donald Horton said in a statement. As of 11:19 a.m., D.R. Horton shares had fallen 2.9 percent, to $19.21, a three-year

In the previous quarter, D.R. Horton reported that sales orders plunged 36.7 percent.

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Tembec cuts production at Ontario sawmill

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Tembec, the Montreal-based international lumber producer, will take downtime at its Huntsville, Ontario, hardwood sawmill effective today.

The sawmill will be restarted on a one-shift basis July 16, with the second shift continuing to be idle for an indefinite period, the company said.

“This one-week shutdown and the subsequent indefinite shutdown of the second shift are due to a combination of factors, including overall market conditions for hardwood lumber, economic sawlog availability and the high value of the Canadian dollar,” said Dennis Rounsville, executive vp and president of Tembec’s Forest Products Group.

Tembec has yearly sales of about $3.5 billion, with approximately 9,000 employees worldwide.

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Do it Best names new retail development vp

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Do it Best Corp. has named Jay Brown to the post of vp-retail development.

Brown formerly served as vp-merchandising at the co-op, where he helped open two global buying offices in Asia. He also helped bring such programs to the co-op’s biannual markets, including the “Friday Night Sneak Peek” and “Power Tool University.”

Previously, Brown was senior general manager for paint manufacturer Valspar.

“Jay was instrumental in creating merchandising programs and services that helped our member-owners become more successful,” said Bob Taylor, Do it Best’s president and CEO.  “He has done an outstanding job as vice president of merchandising and we know he will bring that same energy and enthusiasm to his new role with our field staff.”

Ft. Wayne, Ind.-based Do it Best serves approximately 4,100 member-owners in the United States and 45 foreign countries.

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