Earnings and revenues grow in Q1 for Plum Creek
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."
Weyerhaeuser posts Q1 gains
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.
Builders FirstSource posts inflation-aided sales gain
Dallas-based Builders FirstSource saw sales surge in the first quarter — up 45.7% to $319.7 million.
"We were able to achieve top-line growth of greater than 30% for a sixth consecutive quarter," said CEO Floyd Sherman. "Our sales increase once again exceeded the increase in residential construction activity, as actual single-family housing starts in the South Region increased 27.4% and single-family units under construction increased 23.2%."
Despite the top-line success, the company faced downward pressure on margins due to rising prices of commodity lumber, according to Chad Crow, senior VP and CFO. "While we were able to obtain price increases from many of our customers during the quarter, they were not enough to offset the continued commodity price inflation," he said.
Net loss for the first quarter of 2013 was $11.8 million, compared with a net loss of $19.2 million in the first quarter of 2012.
Sherman added: "We are excited about the prospects for the home-building industry, and the outlook continues to suggest favorable opportunities for Builders FirstSource. The National Association of Homebuilders is now predicting a 24.2% increase in single-family housing starts for 2013, and an additional 28.8% increase in 2014. We believe Builders FirstSource is well positioned to take advantage of this recovery. Our strategy remains focused on increasing our market share and improving our operating margins as we move into the spring and summer building season."