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Lumber Liquidators accused of formaldehyde violation

BY Steph Koyfman

Lumber Liquidators Holdings has been accused of selling products containing illegal levels of formaldehyde.

The claims came to light in a report posted on Seeking Alpha last Thursday by analyst Xuhua Zhou. 

Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman is among the legal firms investigating the allegations on behalf of purchasers of securities for the company. Another is Faruqi & Faruqi. From June 19 to June 21 — after the allegations of high levels of formaldehyde surfaced — shares of Lumber Liquidators fell about 11%. On Tuesday morning, the stock rebounded to above $77.00 in early trading. 

Lumber Liquidators, one of the largest retailers of hardwood flooring in the United States, trades its stocks at nearly 50 times its 2012 earnings, according to Seeking Alpha. Despite presenting a short opportunity to investors, the company lacks a sufficient quality control system, which may be part of the reason for its high margins. The source speculates that product recalls could inflict serious harm to its valuation.

Toana, Va.-based Lumber Liquidators launched an end-of-quarter clearance sale for all of its flooring products on Sunday.

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Colorado’s MLS listings just got a little greener

BY HBSDealer Staff

Thanks to the efforts of KB Home and its partner, non-profit energy ratings standardbearer RESNET, the Colorado Energy Office has added a new "Green Features and Certifications" category to its Multiple Listing Service, which includes Energy Star certificaton, HERS scores and other energy efficiency features.

According to the company, KB Home has pioneered this effort since 2011 and was the first home builder to provide energy-effciency information directly to consumers via its Energy Performance Guide. KB Homes was also the first to put HERS score labeling on all of its homes to allow consumers to make informed decisions regarding energy costs and utilities. Now, home buyers in Colorado will be able to see this data across the board.

"There will soon be a day that home buyers will demand to know a home’s HERS score or its estimated energy bill — and we are well-prepared for this today," said Matt Mandino, president of KB Home’s Colorado division. "We know that an energy-efficient home is a better value by helping lower the total cost of homeownership. In fact, in the state of Colorado, on average, a new KB home is up to 70% more efficient than a typical resale home."

Colorado isn’t the only area where KB Homes is realizing significant growth at the moment. The company announced the grand openings of two new communities in the Bay Area on Friday. KB Homes will be expanding its single-family home presence in Danville and Dublin this summer.

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PEOPLE IN THE NEWS: Dewayne Williams and Martin Ketelaar

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Houston-based Quanex Building Products has announced the appointments of Dewayne Williams and Martin P. Ketelaar as corporate officers.

Williams was named VP and corporate controller, effective July 1. He will be responsible for all internal and external financial accounting and reporting functions. Williams was previously VP, corporate controller, chief accounting officer and assistant treasurer for Complete Production Services, an oilfield service provider.

Ketelaar, who joined Quanex in September 2012 as VP investor relations and corporate communications, has been appointed treasurer. He will be responsible for all banking, cash management and risk management functions, in addition to his current duties. Before joining Quanex, Ketelaar was VP investor relations and assistant treasurer at The ServiceMaster Co. 

"I would like to welcome Dewayne to the Quanex family and look forward to his contributions. I also congratulate Marty on his new position and additional responsibilities as Quanex continues to grow its position in the building products sector," said senior VP finance and chief financial officer Brent L. Korb. "As our markets improve, I am more confident than ever in the strength and abilities of our leadership team."

Quanex Building Products is a manufacturer of engineered products and components, serving the energy-efficient building products markets.

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