LUMBERYARDS

Whirlpool elects Gerri Elliott to its board

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Whirlpool Corporation has elected Geraldine "Gerri" Elliott, EVP and chief customer officer at Juniper Networks, to its board of directors.

"Gerri has exceptional information technology and leadership expertise, and we are delighted to welcome her to our board," said Jeff M. Fettig, Whirlpool Corporation’s chairman and CEO. "As we drive results in an increasingly digital economy, Gerri’s strategic understanding of transformative digital technologies, as well as her global marketing, sales and service experience, will be invaluable to our board of directors and Whirlpool Corporation."

Elliott has been with Juniper since 2009; before then, she worked for Microsoft Corporation in various senior executive positions, as well as IBM Corporation in several executive and management roles. In her current role with Juniper, she drives strategic and operational objectives for global marketing, sales, systems engineering, advanced technologies, channel partners, field operations and customer service organizations. She will be retiring from Juniper later in 2014.

Elliott was also recently elected to Bed Bath & Beyond’s board of directors.

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With sales gains, Huttig narrows Q4 loss

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Huttig Building Products reported net sales for the fourth quarter of $134.8 million, up from $125.6 million the year before. The net loss for the quarter was $400,000, an improvement over 2012’s fourth-quarter loss of $2.8 million.  

For the 12 months ended Dec. 31, sales came in at $561.5 million, up 7.8% from 2012. The St. Louis-based distributor swung to a profit for the full year with a net income of $3.2 million, compared to a loss of $500,000 in 2012.

"We continued to show year over year financial improvement in 2013," said president and CEO Jon Vrabely. "We are pleased to report our eleventh consecutive quarterly improvement in net income, excluding special significant items. In addition, our liquidity position has strengthened through our operating results."

Noting that Huttig began trading on NASDAQ in December, Vrabely stated that the company’s focus remains on driving profit and delivering strong results for stakeholders.

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BlueLinx Q4 financial report offers a mixed bag

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Building products distributor BlueLinx reported sales gains for the fourth quarter and full year, but still finished in the red. 

For the quarter, sales increased 10.4% to $486.3 million. The company narrowed its fourth quarter net loss to $2.5 million, compared to a net loss of $11.4 million in the same quarter last year. 

"Our operating performance for the fourth quarter of 2013 represents an improvement in net sales reflecting continued market recovery while our Adjusted EBITDA improved over 2012 levels," said president and CEO Mitch Lewis. "We are gaining traction on the previously announced restructuring efforts that were completed in 2013. Our organization is intently focused on improving our gross margins and operating more efficiently to facilitate leveraging our incremental volume to enhance our financial performance."

For the full year, sales improved 12.8% to $2.15 billion. However, the company’s net loss increased to $40.6 million, nearly twice that of 2012. 

Lewis said he agreed with the consensus forecast of total housing starts to increase in 2014 to about 1.1 million. He also said the company expects residential repair and remodeling activity to grow at a pace of 4% to 5%. 

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