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Owens Corning lowers guidance

BY Brae Canlen

Owens Corning has lowered its earnings expectations for 2012 based on a weak selling environment for its roofing and composites. Full-year adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) for the company are now expected to be in the range of $280 million to $310 million, with the primary uncertainty through the remainder of the year attributed to roofing volumes.

Weakness in the U.S. roofing shingle market, combined with a mid-September price increase, resulted in the company lowering its roofing revenue outlook for the full-year, now estimated to be approximately $2 billion.

In the second half of 2012, composites demand will be impacted by lower global industrial production, particularly in Europe, as well as by the weaker U.S. roofing market. In response, Owens Corning has initiated further production curtailments to bring inventories in line with previously discussed year-end targets.

The company maintains its earlier guidance of significantly narrowing losses for its insulation business in 2012. The effects of higher volumes as a result of an improving U.S. housing market, as well as continued operating leverage in the business, continue to support this outlook.

Owens Corning will announce its full third-quarter 2012 results on Oct. 24, 2012, prior to the opening of the market.

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Ply Gem Windows to add 200 jobs

BY Brae Canlen

Ply Gem Windows will expand its facility in Rocky Mount, Va., adding 200 jobs and upgrading new extrusion tooling, equipment, products and information technology. The Cary, N.C.-based manufacturer of residential and light commercial window and patio doors expects to complete these capital investments at its Rocky Mount plant by the end of 2014.

New hires will include such jobs as unit assemblers, coordinators, value stream leaders, process owners, process engineers, technicians and IT support.

“We are focused on enhancing Ply Gem’s product offering and customer experience to support planned growth from the housing market recovery, as well as improved market share from new customers and products,” said Lynn Morstad, president, Ply Gem Windows.

The investment was made possible, in part, by grants from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission, Franklin County and the Town of Rocky Mount. The company also is receiving assistance from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program through the Virginia Department of Business Assistance.

The current manufacturing facility was established in 1939 and acquired by Ply Gem in 2004. Over the years, the plant has manufactured such products as storm windows, aluminum windows, and window and door frames.

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ProBuild withdrawing from some Eastern markets

BY Brae Canlen

ProBuild Holdings, the nation’s largest pro dealer, has decided to close down some of its newly built facilities in the Pittsburgh area, as well as operations in Hagerstown, Md. 

An HCN confirmation of an internal memo by ProBuild CEO Rob Marchbank last week showed that the Denver-based pro dealer has revisited its decision to operate three brand new LBM facilities in the Pittsburgh region. 

An attempt to reach ProBuild for comment or explanation received no response.

In January 2012, ProBuild opened a new location in Altoona, Pa., approximately 100 miles east of Pittsburgh. The 65,000-sq.-ft. Altoona facility included a kitchen, bath and millwork showroom, as well as a full assortment of building materials. ProBuild Altoona also offered installation services. 

Last year, ProBuild opened two other locations near Pittsburgh, which is the home turf of rival pro dealer 84 Lumber: White Oak, Pa., and Morgantown, W.Va. 

ProBuild will close operations in Pittsburgh, affecting the Altoona and White Oak, Pa., locations, as well as Morgantown, W.Va., and Hagerstown, Md.; in last week’s announcement, Marchbank said the Winchester, Va., and Frederick, Md., locations will handle the redirected Hagerstown business. 

"The strategy of opening a greenfield location in a competitive market with challenging economic conditions is not an effective approach to market growth," Marchbank wrote in the memo.

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