Wood products boost Weyerhaeuser results
Forest products producer Weyerhaeuser reported net sales from continuing operations of $1.49 billion for the first quarter of 2012, compared to sales of $1.42 billion in the first quarter of 2011. Net earnings for the quarter were $9 million excluding special items, compared to earnings of $3 million, also excluding one time charges, in the first quarter of 2011.
In the wood products segment, the Federal Way, Wash. Company reported net sales of $634 million, compared to $542 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. Sales volumes and prices were higher across all product lines, and operating rates improved. These factors were partially offset by increased freight expense.
Weyerhaeuser anticipates approximately breakeven results from the wood products segment in the second quarter. The company expects higher sales volumes across all product lines and improved selling prices for lumber.
In timberlands, the company reported net sales of $250 million during the first quarter of 2012, compared to $274 million during the fourth quarter of 2011. Income from operations increased $13 million, primarily due to lower Western operating costs. This was mostly offset by a $12 million decline in earnings from the disposition of non-strategic timberlands. Fee harvest volumes increased.
Weyerhaeuser expects modestly higher earnings in the timberlands segment in the second quarter. The company expects higher log sales volumes and slightly improved domestic prices for Western logs, partially offset by an overall increase in fuel costs and seasonally higher silviculture expenses.
"Even as indicators of a modestly improving U.S. housing market begin to emerge, we remain relentlessly focused on improving our financial performance," said Dan Fulton, president and CEO. "We will take full advantage of recovering markets while positioning Weyerhaeuser for future growth, to the benefit of our shareholders."
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Stolen copper wire fetches tidy sum
A San Diego man is facing felony changes for purchasing copper wire at Home Depot and Lowe’s stores with counterfeit barcodes and then reselling it to recycling centers for a hefty profit, according to an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Steven Koski was arraigned in San Diego Superior Court on April 27 after Lowe’s alerted authorities that surveillance video allegedly showed Koski entering home-improvement stores in the county and replacing legitimate barcodes with fake barcodes. An investigation ensued, and prosecutors claim that the 42-year-old suspect purchased copper wire for $60 to $90 and then resold it at California recycling centers for $200 to $300. He was charged with 11 felony counts and bail was set at $250,000.
California is one of the top five states with the highest reported incidence of copper theft, according to the article.
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Distributors tour each other’s DCs
An event organized by the PRO Group April 24 to 26 brought together 25 distributors from around the country to tour two warehouse facilities and share new developments in distribution operations.
The tours took place at Reiss Wholesale Hardware Co., Inc. in Brooklyn, New York and R3 Redistribution – Metro South in Perth Amboy, N.J. Both distributors are affiliated with PRO Group, Inc.
Paul Reiss, who is president of Reiss Wholesale Hardware Co., led the group through his 66,000 sq. ft. distribution center, which features a narrow aisle system in order to maximize space. The warehouse uses Raymond Narrow Aisle equipment, which is made in the U.S.
Reiss noted that past D.C. workshops at other facilities convinced him to adopt a number of efficiency changes, including radio frequency technology and an upgrade to energy efficient T5 lighting, which operates on a motion sensor system.
The April 26 tour was scheduled for the R3 warehouse in New Jersey, a 132,000 sq. ft. distribution center with more than 20 doors and 5,000 SKUs. "Everyone does something better than you do, so that’s always interesting to see,” said Reiss. “You can’t always implement new ideas right away, but seeing it in operation is a lot more beneficial for us than reading about it.”
In addition to the tours, the PRO Group’s Distribution Center Workshop gives attendees an opportunity to network during hosted dinners while learning about the latest developments in warehouse operations and sharing best practices. Roundtable discussions during the workshop included topics such as quarterly operations benchmark reports, how to utilize cube and weight with the warehouse management system, incentive pay/programs for individuals in the warehouse, and other operations related processes.
Shari Kalbach, managing director for PRO Group, said the DC Workshop gives distributor personnel who do not often get out of their distributor centers a chance to interact with others in their industry. "Our distributors don’t always have the opportunity to see the changes others are making to improve operations" said Kalbach. “The Distribution Center Workshop offers a window into these other businesses, and an open invitation to discuss changes, challenges and personal victories.”
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