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Weyerhaeuser posts lower 3rd-quarter profit

October 28, 2011

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FEDERAL WAY, Wash.—Weyerhaeuser Co. said Friday that its profit fell sharply in the third quarter versus a year earlier, when the lumber company's earnings got a hefty boost from a $1.04 billion tax adjustment.

The company reported net income of $157 million, or 29 cents a share, for the third quarter. That compares with net income of $1.12 billion, or $3.50 a share, in the same period last year.

The latest results included after-tax gains of $91 million. Excluding that, Weyerhaeuser's earnings amounted to 12 cents a share, the company said.

On that basis, the results matched analysts' consensus forecast for earnings of 12 cents a share, according to FactSet.

Revenue slipped to $1.65 billion from $1.66 billion a year earlier. Analysts had anticipated revenue of $1.69 billion.

Management said that all of its businesses faced challenging markets during the quarter amid a stalled U.S. housing market and slowing demand from China.

The company said it expects lower earnings from its timberland segment in the fourth quarter due to reduced fee harvest volumes and lower selling prices for Western logs. The company also anticipates seasonally higher road and forestry costs.

For its real estate business, Weyerhaeuser anticipates seasonally higher home closing volume will lead to higher earnings from single-family homebuilding operations in the fourth quarter.

The company's cellulose fibers segment should produce lower earnings next quarter due to lower selling prices for pulp and slightly higher shipment volumes, Weyerhaeuser said.

The company also expects a larger loss in the fourth quarter in its wood products business due to lower selling prices for lumber and oriented strand board, plus reduced sales volumes and operating rates across all product lines.

Weyerhaeuser shares slipped 8 cents to $18.22 in aftermarket trading. The stock ended the regular session up 36 cents, or 2 percent, at $18.30.