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Plum Creek reports Q1 earning decline

BY HBSDealer Staff

Plum Creek Timber Co. posted first-quarter earnings of $29 million, down 23.6% from $38 million in the first quarter of 2011. Revenues in the first quarter totaled $337 million, up 22.5% from $275 million in the year-ago period

Earnings declined due to lower reported income from the real estate segment, although revenues and cash generated by the segment increased. 

“Plum Creek performed well in the first quarter. We took advantage of attractive pulpwood markets and seamlessly integrated the harvest from our recently acquired timber deed in the Gulf South region. However, results didn’t meet our initial expectations due to timing differences in our real estate sales,” said Rick Holley, president and CEO. 

“Our first-quarter real estate sales, while higher than the first quarter of last year, were below our initial expectations. Performance in our timber and manufacturing segments was similar to the first quarter of 2011, and we remain on track to meet our financial goals for the year.” 

The Northern Resources segment reported operating profit of $6 million during the first quarter, compared with $7 million in the first quarter of 2011. 

Operating profit in the Southern Resources segment was $21 million, up $2 million from the first quarter of 2011 due to higher harvest volumes.

The Real Estate segment reported revenue of $100 million, and operating income of $30 million. First-quarter 2011 revenue totaled $62 million, and operating income was $38 million. Although revenue increased, higher non-cash land basis expense (the book value of the lands sold) resulted in lower operating profit.

The Manufacturing segment reported operating income of $4 million, unchanged from the first quarter of 2011.

The company completed the purchase of about 4.7 million tons of mature southern yellow pine timber in a negotiated timber deed transaction valued at $103 million. The timber is located in the Gulf South region. “The acquisition is expected to be earnings neutral in the first year and become increasingly earnings and cash accretive over the eight-year life of the investment,” according to a company release.

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Standard Pacific reports strong Q1

BY HBSDealer Staff

Irvine, Calif.-based Standard Pacific Corp. reported first-quarter net income of $8.5 million, compared with a net loss of $14.8 million in the first quarter of 2011. 

Home sale revenues for the first quarter ended March 31 increased 53% to $220.3 million from $143.7 million in year-ago period. This was driven by a 46% increase in new home deliveries (excluding joint ventures) to 642 homes and a 5% increase in the company’s consolidated average home price to $343,000. 

"After a strong finish to 2011, we are pleased to report that the positive momentum has continued into the first quarter. We believe our solid first quarter results reflect the execution of our strategy and suggest that there may be some stabilization in the economy and the overall housing market," said Scott Stowell, CEO and president. 

"We have achieved a profitable first quarter, with net new orders, new home deliveries, home sale revenues and homes in backlog up over the prior year by 43%, 46%, 53% and 55%, respectively,” he added.” In addition to these significant year-over-year improvements, I am also particularly pleased with our gross margin from home sales, which was 20.3% for the 2012 first quarter."

Net new orders (excluding joint ventures) for the 2012 first quarter increased 43% to 934 homes on a 14% increase in the number of average active selling communities, from 138 to 158. The Company’s cancellation rate for the 2012 first quarter was 13%, compared with 14% in the year-ago period and 19% for the 2011 fourth quarter. 

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PulteGroup Q1 loss narrows

BY HBSDealer Staff

Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based PulteGroup reported a net loss of $12 million for the first quarter ended March 31, compared with a net loss of $40 million in the prior-year quarter. Reported net loss includes $6 million of land-related charges, which were offset by $6 million of land-sale gains. 

Home sale revenues in the first quarter increased 4% to $814 million, compared with $782 million in the prior year. Higher revenue for the quarter reflects a 5%, or $12,000, increase in average selling price to $261,000, partially offset by a 1% decrease in closings to 3,117 homes. 

"PulteGroup’s first-quarter financial results demonstrate further success in our efforts to reposition the business and drive better long term financial returns," said Richard J. Dugas Jr., PulteGroup chairman, president and CEO. "For the quarter, improved gross margins and excellent control of overhead costs within our operations, along with better results from our financial services operations, helped to drive a $32 million increase in pretax operating results. Our first quarter results reflect the benefit of initiatives launched in 2011 which are expected to deliver additional gains as we move through the remainder of 2012 and beyond."

For the quarter, the company reported a 15% increase in net signups of 4,991 homes, which were generated from 6% fewer communities. Prior-year net signups were 4,345 homes. The cancellation rate in the first quarter was 15%, down from 16% in the prior year.

PulteGroup’s contract backlog as of March 31 was 5,798 homes, with a value of $1.6 billion, compared with a prior-year contract backlog of 5,188 homes, valued at $1.4 billion.

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