Housing starts decline 9.9%
The Commerce Department’s residential construction report released Wednesday morning showed an unexpected downturn for housing starts.
Housing starts in June were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 836,000. That’s down 9.9% from the upwardly revised May estimate. Compared with a year ago, however, June starts were up 10.4%.
May’s starts figure was revised upward from 914,000 to 928,000. Analysts had expected a June figure above 950,000.
Building permits also disappointed. Permits came in at a pace of 911,000 — down 7.5% from the previous month. Compared with a year ago, building permits were up 16.1% from a very weak June 2012.
Single-family housing starts were less volatile in June, showing a decline of 0.6% and an annual rate of 624,000.
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Jewett-Cameron reports third-quarter financial results
Jewett-Cameron Trading Co. CEO Don Boone said a shift to e-commerce resulted in lower costs and higher margins for the company during its third quarter ended May 31.
Overall, third quarter sales were $15.1 million, down from $16.1 million a year ago. The company reported net income of $1.02 million, up from $937,000 a year ago.
Sales for the nine months were at $38.6 million, up from $35.1million a year prior. Net income for the nine months was $2.3 million, about the same as a year ago.
Boone added that the company implemented a new share repurchase plan.
"We also completed the 2 for 1 stock split of our common shares, and our strong cash position combined with the additional liquidity corresponds to our practice of implementing share re-purchase programs, which we believe is an effective method of enhancing shareholder value," said Boone.
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Insurers PLM and ILM to join forces
Indiana Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Company and Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Company today announced that they have executed agreements to affiliate their respective companies.
Once effective, the affiliation will result in common management, shared services and pooled reinsurance. The headquarters of the newly affiliated group will be in Philadelphia, Pa., with significant operations to be performed in Indianapolis. John F. Wolf, who currently serves as president and CEO of Indiana Lumbermens Mutual, will retire from that position and become a member of the board of directors of both companies.
John K. Smith, President and CEO of Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual, will serve as CEO of the integrated organization.
"This combination is an opportunity to capitalize on the strengths of each organization for the benefit of all," said Smith. "It will allow us to offer a broader and financially stronger market for the insureds of both companies, and a more secure workplace for employees. I truly believe that we are building the premiere property and casualty insurance marketplace for wood products and building material businesses in the United States."
Mr. Wolf noted, "Together we’re better — for stakeholders of both companies, and so I look forward to working with John and his team to make sure we do this right and maximize this opportunity. The potential for a new service center is something that I am particularly excited about, since it will capitalize on many of the workforce strengths that we have here in Indianapolis."
The affiliation agreements are subject to approval by the applicable departments of insurance, a process that management expects will be successfully completed by year’s end.
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