LUMBERYARDS

Profits soar at Toll Brothers

BY Brae Canlen

The Horsham, Pa.-based luxury home builder Toll Brothers has posted a fourth-quarter profit of $411.4 million, compared with $15.0 million in profits in the same quarter in 2011. The 2012 results included a net tax benefit of $350.7 million.

Fourth-quarter revenues of $632.8 million increased 48% compared with a year ago. Home-building deliveries of 1,088 units increased 44% in units compared with the previous year. The price of homes delivered was $582,000 in the fourth quarter, compared with $565,000 in fourth quarter of fiscal 2011.

For the entire fiscal year, which ended Oct. 31, net income was $487.1 million. This included a net tax benefit of $374.2 million. In comparison, FY 2011’s net income was $39.8 million.

FY 2012’s fourth-quarter revenues and home-building deliveries of $632.8 million and 1,088 units increased 48% in dollars and 44% in units, compared with FY 2011’s fourth-quarter results of $427.8 million and 757 units. The average price of homes delivered was $582,000, compared with $576,000 in FY 2012’s third quarter and $565,000 in FY 2011’s fourth quarter.

Toll Brothers ended fiscal 2012 with a backlog of approximately $1.67 billion and 2,569 units, which increased 70% in dollars and 54% in units, compared with FY 2011’s year-end backlog of $981.1 million and 1,667 units.

Looking forward, the company expects to end fiscal 2013 with between 225 and 255 selling communities, compared to its peak of 325 communities at FY 2007’s second-quarter end. The home builder ended FY 2012 with 224 selling communities, compared with 215 at the end of fiscal 2011.

Douglas Yearley Jr., Toll Brothers’ CEO, stated, "Pent-up demand, rising home prices, low interest ratesand improving consumer confidence motivated buyers to return to the housing market in FY 2012. As household formations accelerated and unsold home inventories dropped to record lows, the industry took further steps toward a sustained housing recovery.

"We enjoyed resurgent activity across all of our product lines and in most of our geographic regions. The momentum that began in our first quarter of FY 2012 built throughout the year."

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Deutsche Bank Securities to pay $20 million to LP

BY Brae Canlen

In a Dec. 3 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Louisiana-Pacific (LP) announced it will receive a $20 million payment from Deutsche Bank Securities to settle a lawsuit between the two companies. Deutsche Bank Securities will pay the sum without admitting any liability or wrong-doing, and LP will dismiss the legal proceedings with prejudice. Each company will release the other from all claims and liabilities arising out of the sale and purchase of the auction rate securities.

Although the SEC filing does not go into great detail about the lawsuit, it does say that Deutsche Bank Securities acted as Initial Purchaser and Initial Broker-Dealer in LP’s purchase of certain auction rate securities underwritten by Deutsche Bank Securities.

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In North Dakota, a yard expands

BY Ken Clark

Crane Johnson Lumber Co. opened a new facility in Surrey, N.D., according to an article in the Minot Daily News.

The manager of the new location is Tony Watterud. He is also VP. The company was founded in 1883 and today operates five lumber yards in North Dakota and Minnesota. Crane Johnson Lumber Co. also operates a truss and panel facility in Fargo, N.D. 

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