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Zelman Housing Outlook on display in Chicago

BY HBSDealer Staff

The HIRI Home Improvement Industry Summit, taking place Oct. 19 to 20 in Chicago, will include a hard look at the housing market, thanks to a presentation from Zelman & Associates’ Dennis McGill, director of research.

This session, one of several during the two-day event organized by the non-profit Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI), will examine the housing cycle and the impact of demographics, home prices, existing home turnover and foreclosures on the outlook for the future. The Zelman Housing Outlook for 2011 will also reveal a forecast for home improvement spending. 

Described by HIRI as the "premier conference for information on the industry," the two-day summit will take place at the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza. Discounts for members and non-members are available for early-bird registrants before Sept. 16.

HIRI is the home improvement industry’s leading source for original research. It is an independent, not-for-profit membership organization comprised of more than 80 forward-thinking companies.

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Sales rise at HD Supply

BY HBSDEALER Staff

HD Supply has reported net sales for its second fiscal quarter of 2011 of $2.2 billion, an increase of $195 million, or 10%, over sales in the same quarter of 2010. Loss from continuing operations for the second quarter of fiscal 2011 was $101 million, compared with a loss from continuing operations of $115 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2010. Excluding income taxes, loss from continuing operations was $86 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2011, compared with a loss of $45 million in the corresponding quarter of fiscal 2010. 

Operating income for the second quarter, which ended July 31, was $73 million, an improvement of $46 million compared with operating income a year ago. Liquidity at the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2011 was $1.2 billion, the company said.

Joe DeAngelo, CEO of HD Supply, said in a prepared statement: “The second-quarter results marked the company’s fifth consecutive quarter of sales growth and each of our business sectors [Infrastructure & Energy, Specialty Construction and Maintenance, Repair & Improvement] reported year-over-year sales growth for the quarter. During the second quarter, sales initiatives, continued focus on margin expansion and cost control resulted in the highest quarterly operating income since the second quarter of fiscal 2008.”

During the second quarter, HD Supply entered into an agreement on Aug. 25 to sell its plumbing/HVAC business to Hajoca Corp. The transaction is expected to close in September 2011 upon the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including obtaining requisite government approvals. Upon the closing of the transaction, the company anticipates recording a modest gain and expects to utilize the funds from the transaction for growth initiatives.

HD Supply Waterworks also completed the acquisition of Rexford Albany Municipal Supply Co. during the quarter, expanding for the first time into the state of New York. More recently, Facilities Maintenance, in partnership with U.S. Communities, a non-profit government purchasing cooperative, was awarded the products and related services MRO contract for one of the largest counties in the United States — Maricopa County in Arizona.

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Solar energy company Solyndra shuts down

BY HBSDealer Staff

A Fremont, Calif.-based solar energy solutions provider that was once hailed as an example of the new green economy has closed and filed for bankruptcy protection, according to an article in the Silicon Valley Mercury News.

Around-the-clock efforts to keep the company solvent failed, according to the report. Solyndra received $535 million in Energy Department loan guarantees.  President Barack Obama visited the plant in May 2010.

The company’s sudden dismissal of its employees has brought threats of lawsuits.

Two other American solar power manufactures filed for bankruptcy last month: Evergreen Solar of Massachusetts and SpectraWatt of New York.

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