At Stock, remodeling boosts revenues
Raleigh, N.C.-based Stock Building Supply posted double-digit sales gains in the first quarter, as the company’s loss narrowed.
Net sales were up 12.6% to $280 million, compared with $248.7 million in last year’s first quarter. The company’s net loss of $3.3 million compared with a net loss of $4.1 million in the same period last year.
Stock’s sales growth was heavy on repair and remodeling, which accounted for sales gains of 17.3%. Sales to single-family home builders increased 9.0%.
Stock operates 69 facilities in 14 states.
President and CEO Jeff Rea analyzed the numbers: "Our continued success in growing revenue is a direct reflection of our flexible business model and ability to withstand a challenging operating environment during the first quarter in which construction activity was slowed by harsh winter weather and U.S. single-family housing starts declined by approximately 1.7% as compared with the prior year. In spite of this slow down, we continued to drive improvements in our operating results while also making important investments in the business. This included additional resources to expand product and service offerings and deepen customer relationships in our local markets."
The company said it increased gross profit to over 21% and expanded gross margins 170 basis points compared with the prior-year period. Meanwhile, Stock pointed to investments in its distribution capacity, its stores and new technology.
Rea looks ahead to the rest of the year with optimism. "Although our year-to-date revenue growth has been hampered by a delayed start to the home-builder spring selling season, we expect our primary end-use markets will continue their recovery from current levels," he said. "We are closely monitoring business activity to ensure our growth investments are aligned with local market opportunities to drive continued improvements in our operating results."
Northwest Hardwoods up for sale again
Former Weyerhaeuser unit Northwest Hardwoods is reportedly up for sale again by American Industrial Partners, the same private equity firm that bought the company in 2011.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, American Industrial Partners has hired bankers at Goldman Sachs to market the company.
Northwest Hardwoods is a manufacturer and distributor of lumber based in Tacoma, Wash. Its various species include oak, maple, cherry and walnut, which is used to make kitchen cabinets, hardwood flooring, furniture, boat interiors and other products.
Sources close to the company said the sale could likely go for around $700 million, up significantly from its original sale price of $108 million in 2011.
Armstrong’s Q1 sales up 1.9%
Armstrong World Industries pointed to favorable momentum benefiting both its top and bottom line in the first quarter of 2014.
Net sales for Armstrong were $634.4 million, up nearly 2% from the same period in 2013.
Net income came in at $16.9 million for the three months ended March 31, representing a good change from $3.2 million last year. A lower interest expense due to the write-off of deferred financing costs during last year’s first quarter helped the company’s bottom line.
"I’m pleased that, despite challenging weather conditions, first quarter sales were up 2% versus prior year," said Matt Espe, CEO. "In spite of this headwind, we delivered adjusted EBITDA of $83 million, up 7% from the prior year, through the dedication by our teams around the world to drive price to cover continued inflation in raw material costs and enhance productivity across our manufacturing plant network."