Weyerhaeuser Profit Rises, Outlook Appears Soft

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Weyerhaeuser Co. (NYSE: WY) reported third-quarter 2014 results before markets opened Friday morning. The wood products real estate investment trust (REIT) posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.33 on revenues of $1.92 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported adjusted EPS of $0.27 on revenues of $2.18 billion. Third-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.30 and $1.97 billion in revenues.

Excluded from adjusted earnings is $966 million in discontinued operations related to Weyerhaeuser’s sale of its real estate company and another $9 million in special items. Including these benefits, EPS totaled $2.15 in the quarter.

In its outlook for the fourth quarter, Weyerhaeuser said it expects the Timberland division to post lower earnings due primarily to reduced earnings from disposition of non-strategic timberlands. Earnings fell $34 million sequentially to $136 million in the third quarter. Sales in the division fell from $397 million in the second quarter to $364 million.

Weyerhaeuser also expects fourth-quarter earnings to fall in its Wood Products division, where pretax earnings rose $3 million sequentially to $105 million in the third quarter. Second-quarter revenues totaled $1.08 billion and third-quarter revenues fell to $1.05 billion. Earnings are forecast to be “significantly weaker” in the fourth quarter due to weaker realizations in lumber and oriented strand board, as well as seasonally lower sales volumes across all product lines.

Earnings in the Cellulose Fibers division are forecast to rise “significantly” in the fourth quarter due to reduced maintenance expenses. Pretax earnings in the division totaled $59 million in the third quarter, down by $32 million sequentially. In the second quarter, sales totaled $490 million and rose to $503 million in the third quarter.

Consensus estimates call for fourth-quarter EPS of $0.34 on revenue of $1.93 billion. For the full year, the consensus estimate for EPS is $1.33 on $7.81 billion in revenues.

Weyerhaeuser raised its quarterly dividend 32% during the third quarter, from $0.22 to $0.29, and repurchased $130 million in company stock. The dividend yield is 3.4%.

Weyerhaeuser’s shares were inactive in premarket trading Friday morning, having closed previously at $33.54, in a 52-week range of $27.48 to $34.60. The consensus target price for the shares was around $36.00 before the latest report.

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