Home builder confidence slips slightly in February
Hovering in the same three-point range during the past four months, the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) slipped a point in February.
The measure of builder confidence declined from 47 in January to 46 in February, according to the data released Tuesday morning.
“This is partly due to ongoing uncertainties about job growth and consumer access to mortgage credit, but it’s also a reflection of the fact that builders are now confronting rising costs for building materials and, in some markets, limited availability of labor and lots as demand for new homes strengthens,” said NAHB chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C.
The decline in the index marked the first slip since April.
Three-month moving averages for each region’s HMI score were mixed in February, with the Northeast up three points to 39; the West up four points to 55; and the Midwest and South each down two points, to 48 and 47, respectively.
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Trex Co. swings to profit in fiscal 2012
A recovering housing market has the alternative-wood producer Trex Co. anticipating gains in 2013. While fourth-quarter sales declined, the Winchester, Va.-based company narrowed its fourth-quarter loss and exceeded its internal expectations.
Trex Co. posted fourth-quarter sales of $46.2 million, down from $51.5 million in the same quarter last year. The company also posted a loss of $3.6 million for the quarter, compared with a loss of $18.3 million in the same quarter last year.
President and CEO Ronald Kaplan pointed to the positive side of the numbers. "We brought 2012 to a successful close with a solid fourth quarter,” he said. “We exceeded our revenue guidance for the period and achieved sales growth of 15% for the year."
For the full year, the company’s net sales were $307.4 million, up from $266.8 million in the previous year. Net income totaled $2.7 million compared with a net loss of $11.6 million in the prior year.
"We believe we are well positioned for 2013, during which we expect to benefit from the growing momentum in the housing sector," Kaplan added.
The company offers decking
The company offers decking products, including Trex Transcend and Trex Enhance protective shells for protection against fading, staining, and scratching; Trex Accents that provides a smooth surface on one side and subtle wood grain on the other; Trex Escapes, a cellular PVC deck board; and Trex Hideaway, a hidden fastening system for specially grooved boards. -Scott Sohr
Vermont Castings Group on the sales block
Private equity firm The Riverside Co. is looking to sell Vermont Castings Group, the hearth and grill manufacturer.
“Vermont Castings Group is a stable and profitable company with an enviable portfolio of brands and products, a solid team and a strong growth strategy that requires additional investment,” said Dan Clifford, president and CEO of Vermont Castings Group. “We know that Vermont Castings Group is an attractive asset, and we look forward to continued success in both the short and long term.”
Riverside acquired the company, formerly known as Monessen Hearth Systems Company, in 2006.
“We have supported Vermont Castings Group through a difficult and protracted recession,” said Tim Gosline, partner at The Riverside Co. “With the company now on stable footing, and the economy strengthening, we believe now is the appropriate time to seek new investors.”
Vermont Castings Group has retained Huron Consulting Group as its financial adviser in connection with the transaction. The process will be conducted as quickly as possible, with a target completion of 60 to 90 days.
With more than 500 employees
With more than 500 employees and five locations, VCG is proud to be on the cutting edge of design, efficiency and environmental responsibility. -buy soundcloud plays
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