LUMBERYARDS

New home orders up at Beazer

BY Brae Canlen

Beazer Homes reported 1,215 orders for new homes for its third fiscal quarter of 2011, a 24% increase from the same period last year, and a 4% increase from the prior quarter. Total home closings from continued operations were 791 homes, a 49% decrease from the same quarter in 2010, but a 40% increase from the second quarter of this year. 

Revenue from continuing operations for the quarter, which ended June 30, was $172.8 million, compared with $321.8 million in the prior year. Net loss, including a net loss of $3.4 million from discontinued operations, was $59.1 million for the quarter. For the prior year, the net loss of $27.8 million included a net loss from discontinued operations of $4.4 million.

The home builder’s total backlog was 1,848 homes with a sales value of $438 million, compared with 1,175 homes with a sales value of $288 million as of June 30, 2010.

Beazer’s decision to exit the Northwest Florida market had an impact on the results, the company said. 

"I’m pleased with our sales efforts during the third quarter," said Allan Merrill, the newly appointed president and CEO of Beazer Homes. "Our sales team was able to overcome significant headwinds in both the economy and the housing market to record substantially improved orders. Our emphasis on promoting the low cost of ownership of a new Beazer Home compared with both existing homes and other new homes was an important contributor to this effort." 

Headquartered in Atlanta, Beazer Homes is one of the 10 largest single-family home builders in the United States. The company offers homes in 16 states: Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. 

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Feds give sawmills a break

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A number of sawmills under contract with the U.S. Forest Service — but no longer in need of timber because of the housing slowdown — caught a break last week when the federal government allowed them to cancel their contracts. But the deal struck with the Forest Service, according to an article in the Denver Post, will also help clear out some of the acres of dead and dying lodgepole pine trees. 

Devastation caused by the mountain pine beetle, also known as the bark beetle, has spread across more than 17.5 million acres of land in six states, according to the U.S. Forest Service.  Dead trees pose a safety hazard near utility lines, campgrounds, roads and trails. Loggers clearing these trees need a place to take them to be processed. And that’s where the new Forest Service plan comes in. 

Sawmills in such hard-hit states as Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska and Colorado are already under economic pressure because of the building slump. The drop in demand for lumber did not nullify their long-term logging contracts and fees. But under the new arrangement, an unspecified number of sawmills in these states will begin processing beetle-killed pines scheduled for removal from an estimated 4 million acres in Wyoming and Colorado. 

The end products are suitable for use in pellet stoves and for other biomass purposes.

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NLBMDA appoints new lobbyist

BY Brae Canlen

The National Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) has announced the appointment of Ben Gann as its new director of legislative affairs and grassroots activities. Gann will be responsible for coordinating the NLBMDA’s activities on Capitol Hill and managing the association’s grassroots network.

Gann previously served as director of government relations for the National Utility Contractors Association and prior to that owned his own political consulting firm.

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