FEDERAL WAY, WA--Weyerhaeuser Company (NYSE:WY) today reported net earnings of $99 million for the first quarter, or 18 cents per diluted share, on net sales of $1.6 billion. This compares with a net loss of $20 million on net sales of $1.4 billion for the same period last year.
Earnings for the first quarter of 2011 include an after-tax gain of $96 million on the previously announced sale of 82,000 acres of non-strategic timberlands in southwest Washington. Excluding this special item, the company reported net earnings of $3 million. This compares to a net loss before special items of $15 million in the first quarter of 2010.
“During the first quarter we continued to make progress in our drive to improve our financial performance despite anemic housing market conditions,” said Dan Fulton, president and chief executive officer. “We are leveraging our strength in the export markets to take advantage of increased demand from Asia. Our businesses are running more efficiently and our work to eliminate costs continues. We remain focused on making further improvements to achieve our goal of delivering superior returns.”
1Q 2011 Performance – First quarter earnings before special items increased $33 million compared with fourth quarter, as strong export demand resulted in improved selling prices and volumes for western logs. Fee harvest volumes increased, resulting in lower per unit logging costs. These improvements were partially offset by higher fuel costs.
First quarter results include a pre-tax gain of $152 million from the previously announced sale of 82,000 acres of non-strategic timberlands located in southwest Washington.
2Q 2011 Outlook – Excluding the disposition of non-strategic timberlands, Weyerhaeuser expects slightly higher earnings in the second quarter compared with the first. The company anticipates modestly improved selling prices for western logs and higher harvest volumes to be largely offset by higher fuel expenses and seasonally higher road and silviculture costs.
Earnings before special items declined $43 million compared with the fourth quarter, primarily due to non-cash pension and postretirement charges and higher share-based compensation expense.
First quarter segment results included pension and postretirement charges of $12 million, as the company amortized actuarial losses deferred in prior years. Fourth quarter included pension and postretirement credits of $19 million.
Share-based compensation expense for the segment increased $8 million compared with the fourth quarter, primarily due to a larger mark-to-market adjustment resulting from an increase in the company’s stock price.
Fourth quarter special items of $39 million included a gain on the sale of five short line railroads, partially offset by charges for restructuring, closures and impairments.
Weyerhaeuser Company, one of the world's largest forest products companies, began operations in 1900. We grow and harvest trees, build homes and make a range of forest products essential to everyday lives. We manage our timberland on a sustainable basis in compliance with internationally recognized forestry standards. At the end of 2010, we employed approximately 14,000 employees in 10 countries. We have customers worldwide and generated $6.6 billion in sales in 2010. Our stock trades on the New York Stock exchange under the symbol WY.
EARNINGS CALL INFORMATION
Weyerhaeuser will hold a live conference call at 7 a.m. Pacific (10 a.m. Eastern) on April 29 to discuss first quarter results.
SOURCE: Weyerhaeuser Co.
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