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USG posts a loss of $100 million for Q3

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Chicago-based USG Corp., parent company of North American Gypsum and owner of the Sheetrock brand, posted a third-quarter net loss of $100 million, compared with a loss of $94 million for the same quarter last year.

Sales for the quarter ended Sept. 30 were $758 million, down 7.7% from $822 million as reported for the same quarter in 2009.

“Our third-quarter results reflect continued weak market conditions and extraordinarily low shipping volumes,” said William Foote, chairman and CEO. “Nonetheless, operating margins for our domestic wallboard business were stable, our ceilings business had another strong quarter, and the performance of our distribution business continued to improve despite ongoing weakness in commercial construction.”

USG’s North American Gypsum segment reported third-quarter 2010 net sales of $413 million and an operating loss of $43 million.

USG’s building products distribution segment, L&W Supply Corp. and its subsidiaries, reported third-quarter net sales of $281 million, down 15% compared with the third quarter of 2009 with an operating loss of $24 million.

The company’s Worldwide Ceilings segment reported third-quarter net sales of $174 million, up $1 million from the same quarter last year. Operating profit for the quarter was unchanged from last year at $21 million.

Looking forward, Foote said, “In the near term, we expect weak demand and product volumes to continue. Longer term, we anticipate the combination of an eventual market recovery, improved operating leverage, market-leading innovations like Sheetrock Brand UltraLight Panels and the benefits of our cost reduction initiatives to contribute to significantly improved financial performance.”

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Off-duty cop nabs shoplifter

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Ashoplifting suspect who may have impersonated a Lowe’s employee was arrested on Oct. 13 after an off-duty police officer became suspicious, according to an article in Herald-Citizen.

Off-duty police officer Shannon Smith was shopping at a Lowe’s store in Cookeville, Tenn., when she allegedly saw a man take a Paslode cordless nail gun out of the store without paying. She contacted other officers, then watched the suspect leave with another individual in a newer model white Toyota.

Police were able to stop the vehicle based on Smith’s description. An officer allegedly found the nail gun, still in its box, and five hypodermic syringes. Arrested were the driver, Rainn Wanos Martin, 31, and Brent Lee Hamby, 29, the passenger. Both were cited for shoplifting and for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Lowe’s employees told officers they saw one of the suspects in the store wearing a Lowe’s apron. An employee apron was later found that had been “cut completely in half down the back,” according to the police report.

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Lancaster names new marketing executive

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Lancaster, a paint sundries distributor, has appointed Geff Lynch as its new senior VP sales and marketing. Lynch will oversee all sales and marketing functions for the Lancaster/Five Star groups.

Lynch is replacing Bruce Sherman, who is leaving the company to spend more time with his family. Sherman has served in the role of VP field sales for Five Star this past year and previously held the position of CEO for The Five Star Group.

Lynch has worked as VP marketing at The Merit Group since January 2008. He has a 24-year background in the paint sundry industry, including sales and marketing positions for GMG Distributors and Gaco Western.

Headquartered in Spartanburg, S.C., The Merit Group distributes its products through its Lancaster, Five Star, Merit Trade Source and Merit Pro trade names. The company, which operates nine distribution centers, serves more than 10,000 retail locations including national, regional and independent paint chains, home improvement centers, hardware stores, lumberyards and drywall yards in the United States, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

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