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Sales rise at Jewett-Cameron

BY Brae Canlen

Jewett-Cameron, the North Plains, Ore.-based LBM distributor, reported sales for its first quarter of fiscal 2012 of $7.24 million, a 19% rise over sales of $6.08 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2011. Net income for the quarter, which ended Nov. 30, 2011, was $64,033, compared with a net loss of $846,335 in the corresponding period last year. The year-ago results were negatively affected by a one-time litigation reserve of $1,579,125. 

On Jan. 17, the company announced a new share re-purchase plan where it can repurchase up to 300,000 common shares representing about 16% of the approximately 1.9 million common shares outstanding. This share repurchase plan may commence on Jan. 23, 2012, and will remain in place until May 18, 2012, but may be limited or terminated at any time without prior notice. 

"We are pleased with the almost 19% increase in sales compared with the prior year’s first quarter," said CEO Don Boone, "and believe that extending our share repurchase program at this time is in the best interest of the company and our shareholders."

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Housing starts breakdown: Midwest gains

BY Ken Clark

Thursday’s housing reports produced a variety of negative headlines. For instance: "U.S. Home Construction has worst year ever," wrote the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; and "December ends third poor year for home building," wrote the Chicago Sun-Times.

But the numbers from the New Residential Construction report had fuel for optimists as well. It was the first year in three years that total starts exceeded 600,000. Plus, while the full-year single-family number was the lowest ever (428,600), the December rate was up for the month and well up for the year.

For home channel businesses, the national numbers are far less important than the health of a particular market in which the business operates. Thursday’s report added some regional color to the numbers.

The Midwest was the big gainer of the four U.S. regions — with December total starts up 54.8% from the previous month and up 121.5% from the previous year. Single-family starts in the Midwest also surged — up 31.9% from last month and up 65.5% from December 2010.

The biggest declines appeared in the Northeast, where starts declined 41.2% in December compared with November. 

Also compared with November, single-family starts increased 3.4% in the South and remained flat in the West.

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Dickies expands safety wear

BY Brae Canlen

Work wear manufacturer Dickies has expanded its enhanced visibility (E-Vis) garment offerings from five SKUs to more than 400 unique combinations of safety-focused occupational wear. The new product line allows workers in construction, heavy equipment, landscaping and other industries to customize virtually any Dickies garment by adding E-Vis reflective striping in 18 predetermined locations.

Dickies E-Vis is constructed from 3M Scotchlite Reflective Tape that provides enhanced visibility in daylight, nighttime and low-light conditions. Color combinations consist of silver, orange/silver and lime/silver available in 1-in., 1.5-in., 2-in. and 2.5-in. tape widths. The six 3M tape options can be applied to garments in 18 predetermined locations.

Based in Fort Worth, Texas, Dickies is the signature brand in the portfolio owned by Williamson-Dickie Mfg Co. 

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