Pulp & Paper News

Weyerhaeuser 4Q 2012 results: net earnings up 120% from year ago to $143 million



FEDERAL WAY, WA , Jan. 25, 2013 (Press Release) - 

Weyerhaeuser Company (WY) today reported net earnings of $143 million, or 26 cents per diluted share, for the fourth quarter. This compares with net earnings of $65 million, or 12 cents per diluted share, and net earnings before special items of $77 million, or 14 cents per diluted share, for the same period last year. Net sales for the fourth quarter of 2012 totaled $2.0 billion, compared with net sales of $1.6 billion for the fourth quarter of 2011. For the full year 2012, Weyerhaeuser reported net earnings of $385 million, or 71 cents per diluted share, on net sales of $7.1 billion. This compares with net earnings of $331 million, or 61 cents per diluted share, on net sales from continuing operations of $6.2 billion for the full year 2011. "As I look forward to 2013, I am excited by the opportunity to build on the momentum of this past year," said Dan Fulton, president and chief executive officer. "In 2012, we began to realize the results of our work to position the company to capture the benefits of an improving housing market. As a result, our bottom line improved significantly, the Board increased the dividend, and our total shareholder return exceeded 50 percent, one of the best in our industry." (1) Net change in cash and cash equivalents for the third quarter of 2012 includes $181 million for debt repayment and a $97 million payment on a note related to a timber monetization undertaken in 2002. Fourth quarter of 2012 includes $110 million received upon maturity of financial investments related to that timber monetization. TIMBERLANDS 4Q 2012 Performance - Earnings increased compared with the third quarter due to improved selling prices and stronger market demand for export and domestic logs. Fee harvest volumes increased in both the West and the South. Earnings from disposition of non-strategic timberlands decreased $5 million. 1Q 2013 Outlook - Excluding dispositions of non-strategic timberlands, Weyerhaeuser expects earnings from the segment to be comparable to the fourth quarter. The company anticipates improved selling prices for Western domestic and export logs, offset by a seasonal decline in Southern fee harvest volumes. Earnings from dispositions of non-strategic timberlands are expected to decrease. WOOD PRODUCTS 4Q 2012 Performance - Stronger than expected market conditions for oriented strand board and lumber resulted in higher average selling prices and sales volumes for those products. However, all product lines experienced higher raw material costs. Engineered wood products operating rates decreased due to maintenance and seasonally weaker market conditions. 1Q 2013 Outlook - Weyerhaeuser anticipates significantly higher earnings from the Wood Products segment in the first quarter. The company expects increased average sales realizations for lumber and oriented strand board and seasonally higher sales volumes across all product lines. Unit manufacturing costs are expected to decline due to improved operating rates, partially offset by higher raw material costs. CELLULOSE FIBERS 4Q 2012 Performance - Average sales realizations for pulp declined, and chemical and energy costs increased. Sales realizations and volumes for liquid packaging board decreased due to operational issues that are now resolved. These factors were partially offset by lower maintenance costs and improved pulp mill productivity due to fewer days of scheduled annual maintenance outages. 1Q 2013 Outlook - Weyerhaeuser expects lower earnings from the Cellulose Fibers segment in the first quarter. The company anticipates increased maintenance expenses, partially offset by slightly higher average selling prices for pulp. REAL ESTATE 4Q 2012 Performance - Fourth quarter included earnings of $16 million from single-family homebuilding and $65 million from land sales, compared with $17 million from single-family homebuilding in the third quarter. Home closings increased seasonally to 842 single-family homes. Average margins on homes closed declined to 20 percent due to mix, and selling costs increased due to the additional closing volume. At the end of the fourth quarter the backlog of homes sold, but not closed, totaled 774 units, compared with 429 units one year ago. 1Q 2013 Outlook - Weyerhaeuser anticipates a slight profit from single-family homebuilding in the first quarter. Home closings should decline seasonally to approximately 500 homes, with margins comparable to fourth quarter. Selling expenses are expected to decrease due to lower closing volumes.

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