Proactiveinvestors United Kingdom - Building Material & Fixtures RSS feed Proactiveinvestors United Kingdom - Building Material & Fixtures feed en Sat, 20 Jan 2018 11:12:45 +0000 Genera CMS D.R. Horton upbeat after quarterly sales surge Tue, 10 Nov 2015 13:23:00 +0000 Aecon wins two contracts totaling $100 million Shares of Aecon Group Inc. (TSE:ARE) rose 2.34 percent as the company announced the award of two mining sector contracts totaling C$100 million.

One of the contracts is for the Legacy potash project run by Germany’s K+S in Saskatchewan and the other is for Brazil’s Vale SA, which is building a processing plant in Newfoundland.

At the Legacy project, the Toronto based engineering and infrastructure company will install mechanical equipment, piping, and electrical and instrumentation systems with work scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2016.

At the Vale Long Harbour processing plant, Aecon will conduct general site services. The work has already begun and it is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2016.

In March, Aecon’s dropped sharply after fourth quarter results that fell below analysts’ expectations.

Dundee Capital Markets downgraded the company to a "neutral" rating from a "buy", slashing its price target as the quarter represented the fourth miss in a row for the company.

The analysts were also concerned that it would be difficult for Aecon to sustain its C$2.65 billion backlog due to the bearish macro-environment surrounding the mining sector. It is therefore significant for Aecon to have secured two contracts from as many mining companies.

On Friday, Aecon’s shares were trading at C$13.57, which is above Dundee’s revised (in March) price target of C$13.00.










Fri, 17 Apr 2015 18:50:00 +0100
Aecon skids as Dundee Capital downgrades to neutral on weak Q4 Aecon (TSE:ARE) shares tumbled Thursday after reporting fourth quarter results that disappointed analysts, with Dundee Capital Markets downgrading the construction and infrastructure development company to a "neutral" rating from a "buy", while also slashing its price target.

Thu, 05 Mar 2015 18:48:00 +0000
Norbord to acquire Ainsworth in C$763 mln deal Norbord (TSE:NBD), a Canadian wood panel maker, will acquire Ainsworth Lumber (TSE:ANS) in an all-stock deal valued at C$762.6 million.

Ainsworth shareholders will obtain 0.1321 of a Norbord share for each Ainsworth share held, the companies said today.

The deal value of C$3.16 per share represents a 6 percent premium to Ainsworth's closing share price on Dec. 5.

The purchase will create a global wood products giant with a market capitalization of about C$2 billion.

Norbord and Ainsworth agreed to combine their operations, which are concentrated in the oriented strand board (OSB) sector, in North America, Europe and Asia. OSB is an engineered wood-based panel made up of compressed layers of wood strands.

The deal would create a powerhouse forestry company combining Norbord’s 7 North American mills and 4 mills in Europe and Ainsworth’s 4 mills in Canada.

Total OSB capacity will be about 7.7 billion square feet, making the new company – operating under the Norbord name – the largest in the OSB sector.

“This transaction unites two complementary businesses behind a common vision of enhanced service to our customers and growth in North America, Europe and Asia,” Norbord chief executive officer Peter Wijnbergen said in the statement.

The deal comes as the forestry business continues to adjust and downsize operations to manage the aftermath of the dramatic rise of the Canadian dollar against its U.S. counterpart, U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber exports and the severe housing slump in the U.S., among other factors.

Toronto-based Norbord and Vancouver-based Ainsworth said they expect cost savings of about C$45 million per year, achievable over an 18-to-24-month period.

The combined company will operate under the Norbord name. Norbord's CEO Wijnbergen will lead the business. Ainsworth's CEO Jim Lake has agreed to stay on with the combined company in an advisory capacity for a period of six months. 

The combined company will maintain an office in Vancouver.

Brookfield Asset Management, which controls 55 percent of Ainsworth shares and 52 percent of Norbord shares, will control 53 percent of the combined company, upon closing.

Norbord closed up 3.2 percent to C$23.96 while Ainsworth closed up 5 percent at C$2.50 in Toronto on Dec. 5.

Mon, 08 Dec 2014 12:50:00 +0000
Norbord shares sink as Q3 profit misses views amid tough OSB times Norbord (TSE:NBD) shares fell hard in early deals Tuesday after the company's third quarter profit fell sharply to miss analysts' estimates amid challenging North American OSB (oriented strand board) market conditions.

Net earnings in the third quarter were $5 million, or 9 cents per share, compared to $27 million, or 50 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2013. The average estimate by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters was for earnings of 12 cents per share.

The company said that in response to difficult North American OSB market conditions, it moved most of its annual maintenance shutdowns forward to the third quarter, and curtailed additional production at several of its mills.

"Despite this downtime, our mills ran very well - producing at stated capacity and holding onto manufacturing cost improvements achieved in the first half of the year," said president and chief executive officer, Peter Wijnbergen.

"We generated $12 million in margin improvement gains so far this year and our recent capital investments are starting to pay back." 

The chief executive said that in the near term, he expects North American OSB pricing to continue to move sideways with the slower demand the company traditionally experiences at the end of the year, but he remained optimistic that its OSB sales would improve in 2015 as the US housing recovery continues to unfold.

So far this year, housing starts in the US were 10 percent higher than the same period in 2013, while permits were up 6 percent. US single family housing starts, which are more important for the OSB industry, were 4 percent better versus last year.

But pricing still has a long way to go, with the North Central benchmark averaging $216 per thousand square feet (Msf) compared to$252 per Msf in the same quarter last year.  

In North America, Norbord's OSB shipments were in line with both the prior quarter and the same quarter last year and increased 7 percent year-to-date. Its cash production costs in North America during the third quarter increased by 3 percent from a year earlier due to the impact of annual maintenance shutdowns and higher raw material prices.

In Europe, Norbord's shipments increased 10 percent versus the prior quarter, 13 percent versus the same quarter last year and 6 percent year-to-date.  The company said its European performance was helped by demand growth in its core UK, German and Benelux markets. OSB prices were also under pressure in the region as eastern European supply is being redirected toward the west due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

"While OSB prices have been under pressure this year, we did not see any significant impact on our overall results in the third quarter," said Norbord's CEO. "Our mills continue to perform well and are producing above stated capacity, a trend I expect will continue into next year."

At quarter end, Norbord had $54 million in cash and $342 million in unused credit lines, with its capital investments totaling $24 million in the latest period.

Shares tumbled 5.3 percent in Toronto on Tuesday, to sit at C$23.85 as of 10:03am ET. Year-to-date, the stock has dropped nearly 30 percent.

Tue, 28 Oct 2014 14:40:00 +0000
CanWel's Q3 profit grows on higher sales, improved market conditions CanWel Building Materials (TSE:CWX), one of Canada's largest national distributors of building materials, rose this morning after reporting an increase in third quarter net profit and revenue on improved market conditions and increased activity level.

Net income in the third quarter was $6.7 million versus $4.7 million in the same period of 2013. Revenue for the three months to September 30 jumped to $227 million from $205 million. 

The company said it continued to focus on its target customer base in the quarter. 

Gross margin increased to 12.1 percent, up from 11.6 percent in the third quarter of 2013, reflecting increased targeted sales and improved market conditions, CanWel said.

"We continue to focus our efforts on optimizing growth and profitability, which is evidenced in our financial performance during the third quarter, on the heels of our robust second quarter," said chairman and chief executive officer, Amar S. Doman, in a release Thursday.

"The continued strength in sales, pricing and profitability across the business is demonstrative of the sound strategic decisions made to date in building a solid company for today and for the future." 

CanWel operates distribution centres coast-to-coast in all major cities and strategic locations across Canada and distributes a wide range of building materials, lumber and renovation products. Shares climbed 3.2 percent to C$6.14 in Toronto on Friday, pushing year-to-date gains to nearly 4.8 percent.

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:24:00 +0100
Lennar posts 47% rise in Q3 profit on higher sales and prices Lennar (NYSE:LEN), rose in midday trades after the second-largest U.S. homebuilder posted a better-than-expected 47 percent rise in profit for its fiscal third quarter as the company sold more homes at higher prices.

Shares were up 6 percent to $41.49 at 3:18 p.m. in New York. 

Net income rose 47 percent to $177.8 million, or $0.78 per share, in the three months ended Aug. 31, the Miami, Florida-based company said in a statement today. That result beat the $0.67 per share analysts were expecting on average.

Revenue climbed 26 percent to $2 billion. The number of houses delivered rose 9 percent to 5,457. The average price of homes delivered increased to $332,000 from $291,000.

The company has been able to raise prices despite a choppy recovery in the U.S. housing market as it mainly caters to buyers looking for a second home. Such buyers are generally more comfortable with volatile interest rates.

The company also said orders, a key indicator of future revenue for homebuilders, jumped 23 percent in the third quarter, higher than the 8 percent growth in the second quarter. That was Lennar's first single-digit increase in orders in three years, largely due to weak demand in the spring selling season, typically the strongest period for U.S. homebuilders.

Toll Brothers, the largest U.S. builder of luxury homes, and Hovnanian Enterprises, a builder in 17 states, reported this month that their orders in the most recent quarter fell from a year earlier.

After a two-month slide in May and June this year, U.S. housing starts surged 15.7 percent to an eight-month high in July, suggesting the housing market recovery was back on track, according to the Commerce Department. 

"This recovery has been driven by years of production deficit that has limited supply while demand has come back to the market," Stuart Miller, Lennar's chief executive officer, said in the statement.

Lennar builds homes for first-time and move-up buyers, retirees and multiple-generation households in 18 states. It also invests in apartments, master-planned communities, mortgage financing and commercial real estate.



Wed, 17 Sep 2014 20:26:00 +0100
Aecon touches 6-month low after posting Q2 loss on weak mining construction business Aecon Group Inc. (TSX:ARE), a Canadian construction company, fell to the lowest in about six months after posting a net loss in its second quarter, hurt by lower revenue and margins in its mining construction segment.

Shares were down 1.8 percent at C$16.31 at 1:31 p.m. in Toronto, after reaching C$15.49, the lowest intraday price since Feb. 26.

Net loss was $12.2 million, or $0.23 per share, in the April-to-June period, compared with net income of $7.9 million, or $0.13 per diluted share, the Toronto-based company said in a statement late yesterday.

Adjusted earnings per share were $0.26.

Overall revenue was $589.6 billion, down from $697.6 million.

Revenue from the company's energy segment was up $19.1 million; revenue from Infrastructure was down $48.8 million; and Mining revenue fell $85.2 million.

Analysts had estimated a profit of $0.12 per share with $641.52 million of revenue.

Aecon said its mining sector has been recovering since the quarter ended and Aecon expects the second half of the year to be stronger in 2014 than is usually the case.

It also said that it has been awarded $280 million for three large contracts since the quarter ended on June 30 — one for each of its three operating segments.

"While we were disappointed by the delay we experienced in securing the additional work we have now booked for our mining business and the temporary client production shutdowns in the oil sands during the second quarter, we move forward with confidence into the second half of 2014 with major new Infrastructure projects ramped up and significant mining work in hand," Chief Executive Officer Teri McKibbon said in the statement.




Tue, 12 Aug 2014 19:05:00 +0100
Norbord rallies on Q2 results, upbeat outlook, even as profit drops Norbord (TSE:NBD) shares were rising on Tuesday after the company, which makes wood panels for the home building market in North America, topped profit expectations for the second quarter, despite posting lower earnings year-over-year. 

The company noted the drop was due in large part to the "exceptional" North American OSB prices seen in the first half of last year.

Shares were last up over 8 percent at C$24.15 in Toronto, paring year-to-date losses to under 29 percent.

For the three months to June 30, the company recorded net earnings of $11 million, or 20 cents per diluted share, compared with $53 million, or 99 cents per share, in the corresponding period of 2013. Still, the latest figure beat the Thomson Reuters mean estimate of 13 cents.

Sales dropped to $311 million from $365 million a year earlier.

“In North America, homebuilding activity continues to improve. But the pace has been held back by labour availability and a lack of entry-level buyers and OSB prices have been disappointing,” said president and CEO Peter Wijnbergen, in a statement announcing the quarterly financial figures released earlier today. 

The chief executive said, however, that the company is not discouraged, and that it always expected it would take time for OSB demand growth to absorb the additional capacity that has been ramping up since early 2013.

"At Norbord, demand from our key customers in all core segments – new home construction, home improvement and industrial – continues to grow, driving 10% higher shipments so far this year. 

"At the same time, our OSB cash production costs are declining due to improved productivity and lower raw material usages.”

In North America, OSB prices were relatively stable and continued to trade in a tight range in the second quarter, with the North Central benchmark averaging $219 per thousand square feet, unchanged from the previous quarter, but down from $347 per Msf in the same period last year. 

OSB shipments in North America increased by 12 percent versus the same quarter last year as year-to-date U.S. housing starts were 6 percent higher than the same period in 2013, and permits were 5 percent higher.

The company also said European panel markets were a bit slower in the second quarter, reflecting a pullback from a particularly strong first quarter. Average panel prices held firm in the quarter there, steady with the first quarter and 2 percent higher than a year earlier.

Norbord declared a quarterly dividend of 60 Canadian cents for the quarter, payable on September 21 to shareholders of record on September 1. 

Tue, 29 Jul 2014 16:14:00 +0100
CanWel posts strong Q2 results on pent-up demand CanWel Building Materials Group Ltd. (TSE:CWX), a wholesale distributor of building materials and home renovation products, hit a 4-month high after saying second-quarter earnings nearly doubled on higher activity levels and pent-up demand for its products following a harsh winter. 

Shares rose 5.8 percent to C$6.08 at 1:51 p.m. in Toronto, after touching C$6.15, the highest intraday price since March 25.

Net income increased to $6.9 million during the April-to-June period, compared to net earnings of $3.6 million in 2013. 

Revenue increased to $226 million compared to $210 million in the same period in 2013 as a result of increased activity levels and pent-up demand for the company's products following the particularly inclement winter. 

Analysts on average were looking for earnings of $0.16 per share on revenue of $226 million.

Gross margin percentage increased to 12.2 percent of revenues versus 10.6 percent last year.

"I am very pleased with our focused ability to overcome the impact of the first quarter's inclement weather during the second quarter, with strong performance across all of our key financial metrics, demonstrating our discipline, and resilience of our business model," Chief Executive Officer Amar S. Doman said in the statement.

Raymond James upgraded the stock to "outperform" from "market perform" on the stronger-than-expected results.

The stock was upgraded at Paradigm Capital from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued today.

A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on CWX. Analysts at Haywood Securities raised their price target on shares of CanWel Building Materials Group from C$6.00 to C$6.50 in a research note today. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock. 

Separately, analysts at Canaccord Genuity reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of CanWel Building Materials Group in a research note today. They now have a C$6.00 price target on the stock, up previously from C$5.60. 

Finally, analysts at Cormark upgraded shares of CanWel Building Materials Group from a “market perform” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 27th. 

Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of C$5.08.




Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:26:00 +0100
ADF Group declines on gloomy outlook ADF Group Inc. (TSE:DRX), a Canadian structural steel company, dropped in morning trading after indicating a grim outlook for the full fiscal year ending in January, pressured by lower prices.

Shares skidded 0.4 percent to C$2.79 at 9:50 a.m. in Toronto, stretching slump in the past three months to 13 percent.

"Given the continued pressure on prices in our markets and the start-up of our new plant in Montana, we foresee that fiscal 2015 will be a year of transition," Chief Executive Officer Jean Paschini said in the company's earnings release today.

"We are stepping up our efforts to build the order backlogs of both our Terrebonne and Great Falls plants, in order to further strengthen ADF's position for the next economic upturn," Paschini added.

The Terrebonne, Quebec-based company swung to profit on higher revenue in the fiscal first quarter ended April 30.

Net income was 471,000, or one Canadian cent per share, in the February-to-April period, from a loss of 269,000, or loss of one Canadian cent per share, in the year-earlier period. That result matched the estimate of one analyst polled by Thomson Reuters.

Revenue doubled to $24.4 million from $12.3 million year over year.

On May 30, the company announced it has obtained the approval of its board of directors and the Toronto Stock Exchange to renew its normal course issuer bid. Thus, from June 4, 2014 to June 3, 2015, ADF is authorized to repurchase for cancellation, up to 1.4 million subordinate voting shares. 

These shares will be repurchased from time to time when deemed appropriate by the company, considering current economic conditions, its liquidities and the progress of its development project in the State of Montana, U.S.A.




Wed, 11 Jun 2014 15:25:00 +0100
Norbord touches 3-week high as Q1 profit tops views despite severe winter Norbord Inc. (TSE:NBD), the third-largest North American maker of wood sheathing used to build homes, rose to the highest in more than three weeks after reporting better-than-expected profit in its fiscal first quarter.

The shares advanced to C$29.98, the highest intraday price since April 7, and were trading at C$28.82, up 6 percent, at 2:13 p.m. in Toronto.

Net income dropped to $7 million, 13 cents per diluted share, in the period ended March 29, compared to $67 million, or $1.26 per diluted share, in the year-earlier period, the Toronto, Ontario-based company said in a statement today. 

The result, however, beat the average estimate of 8 analysts who were predicting a breakeven profit.

The company ascribed the drop to the severe winter weather that held back the construction of new homes in North America.

Norbord said demand in Europe remained strong, reflecting improving housing markets in the United Kingdom and Germany.

The company said it doesn't expect to restart its idled mill in Val-d'Or, Quebec, this year but will continue to monitor market conditions.

Fri, 02 May 2014 19:43:00 +0100
ADF touches two-month high after swinging to annual profit ADF Group Inc. (TSE:DRX), a structural steel company, rose to the highest in two months after swinging to full-year profit as the volumes of orders increase and market conditions improve.

ADF advanced to C$3.26, the highest intraday price since Feb. 13, and was up 3 percent at C$3.07 at 12:42 p.m. in Toronto.

Net income was C$7.7 million, or 23 Canadian cents per share, for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, from a net loss of C$1.6 million, or 5 Canadian cents per share, in the previous year, the Terrebonne, Quebec-based company said in a statement today.

Annual revenue grew to $93 million, from $41.4 million a year earlier.

Two analysts on average were looking for earnings of 24 Canadian cents on revenue of C$90 million.

The company attributed the gains to contracts signed in Western Canada and Quebec.

ADF's order backlog stood at $36 million as of Jan. 31, 2014.

Gross margin improved by more than 10 percentage points to 21.7 percent from 11.4 percent.

The company said improving market conditions have increased the number and size of tenders, but prices remain weak.

The company didn't immediately provide fourth-quarter results.

ADF's board announced a semi-annual dividend of one Canadian cent per subordinate and multiple voting share payable on May 16, to shareholders of record as at April 30.

The company said its annual shareholders meeting will be held on June 11.

The shares, which have 2 "buy" recommendations from analysts, have more than doubled in the past 12 months, giving the company a market value of C$99.7 million.


Thu, 10 Apr 2014 19:25:00 +0100
KB Home surges after posting first Q1 profit since 2007 KB Home (NYSE:KBH), which was primarily focused on first-time buyers, jumped in midday trading after reporting its first first-quarter profit in seven years as revenue and prices surged.

KB Home rose 7.2 percent to $18.96 at 2:35 p.m. in New York, trimming losses in the past 12 months to 9.5 percent.

Net income was $10.6 million, or 12 cents per share, in the three months ended Feb. 28, compared with a loss of $12.5 million, or 16 cents per share, a year earlier, the Los Angeles-based company said in a statement today. It was the first time KB Home had a profit for the first quarter since 2007. Analyst had predicted earnings of 9 cents per share, according to Bloomberg.

Revenue grew 11 percent to $450.7 million. 

New home orders, a key indicator for builders who do not book revenue on a house until the sale is completed, rose 6 percent to 1,765 units. KB Home's backlog rose 4 percent to 2,880 homes as of the end of the quarter.

KB Home said its overall average selling price rose 12 percent in the first quarter, with the West Coast outpacing the Southwest, Central and Southeast regions.

“We are entering the spring selling season positioned with more communities open in attractive locations across the country,” Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Mezger said in the statement. “We are confident that our balanced approach to sales price and pace, combined with our focus on both top-line growth and profitability, will produce strong results in the coming quarters.”

U.S. homebuilders are benefiting from a recovering economy as buyers become more confident and adjust to the higher interest rates.

The company's overall deliveries fell 3 percent to 1,442 homes in the quarter. While deliveries in the Southwest, Central and Southeast regions rose, deliveries slumped 32 percent in the West Coast, due to a lower backlog at the start of the quarter.




Wed, 19 Mar 2014 18:47:00 +0000
Stella-Jones boosts dividend by 40% as Q4 sales grow on strong U.S. dollar Stella-Jones Inc. (TSE:SJ), a producer of pressure treated wood products, reported profit and sales growth in the fourth quarter thanks to a strong U.S. dollar, and it hiked its quarterly dividend by 40 percent.

Net income rose 19 percent to C$19.7 million, or 29 Canadian cents per diluted share, for the three months ended Dec. 31, from C$16.5 million, or 25 Canadian cents per share, in the year-earlier period, the Montreal, Quebec–based company said in a statement today.

Sales grew 33 percent to C$211.9 million from C$159.3 million.

The company attributed the sales growth to fluctuations in the value of the Canadian dollar, versus the U.S. dollar, which increased the value of U.S. dollar denominated sales by $5.8 million. Excluding these factors, sales decreased approximately $6.7 million.

Analysts were looking for earnings of 30 Canadian cents per share on revenue of C$218.1 million. Analysts' estimates typically strip out unusual items.

The board raised the company’s quarterly dividend to 7 cents per share, payable on April 30 to shareholders of record at the close on April 2.

"By virtue of recent acquisitions and key strategic decisions, Stella-Jones has not only become larger, it has become a stronger and more efficient organization," Chief Executive Officer  Brian McManus said in the statement.

Looking forward, Stella-Jones projects demand for its core products "to remain healthy" in 2014. 

Although "a stronger economy could result in a tighter market for untreated railway ties and utility poles, as demand for other wood-based products also increases, we believe our inventory position and the strength of our procurement network should allow Stella-Jones to meet demand at the most optimal cost," McManus said.

As at Dec. 31, the company's long-term debt stood at $372.9 million, compared with $349.6 million at the end of the previous year. 

Stella-Jones shares rose 0.7 percent to C$27.04 at market close in Toronto yesterday, giving the company a market value of C$1.86 billion. The stock is down 0.8 percent this year.




Fri, 14 Mar 2014 13:34:00 +0000
Aecon slumps after Q4 profit drops by half Aecon Group Inc. (TSE:ARE), a construction company, slumped in morning trading after saying earnings tumbled by half in the fourth quarter as revenue declined.

Aecon fell 4.4 percent to C$16.01 at 9:54 a.m. in Toronto.

Net income crumbled to C$28.3 million, or 54 Canadian cents per basic share, in the three months ended Dec. 31, from C$56.3 million, or C$1.06 per basic share, in the year-earlier period, the Toronto, Ontario-based company said in a statement yesterday.

On an adjusted basis, earnings were 50 Canadian cents, below the average estimate of 58 cents a share.

Revenue skidded to C$906.2 million from C$932.1 million.

The construction company boosted its annual dividend by 12.5 percent to 36 Canadian cents per share from 32 Canadian cents per share.

Backlog was $1,773 million at Dec. 31, 2013 , compared to $2,428 million at the end of 2012.

Aecon said its outlook for the year is positive. It also announced its top-level succession plan, which will see Teri McKibbon, its president and operating chief, become president and chief executive in June. John M. Beck will become executive chairman.



Wed, 12 Mar 2014 14:19:00 +0000
CEMATRIX turns a corner with infrastructure focus for insulating lightweight concrete product After having to refocus its business to the infrastructure market in 2008 following the global financial crisis, CEMATRIX (CVE:CVX) is gaining momentum and CEO Jeff Kendrick sees few limits to what the company can achieve.

Mon, 06 Jan 2014 13:31:00 +0000
Lennar Q4 net jumps on higher sales, prices; shares gain Lennar Corp. (NYSE:LEN), the third-largest U.S. homebuilder by revenue, spiked in premarket trades after posting a better-than-expected 32 percent climb in fiscal fourth quarter profit as it sold more homes and increased prices.

Shares of the Miami, Florida-based company rose 3.4 percent to $36.39 at 6:07 a.m. in Toronto. The stock rose in the previous three sessions but is down 9 percent this year.

Net income rose to $164.1 million, or 73 cents a share, in the three months ended Nov. 30, from $124.3 million, or 56 cents a share, in the year-earlier period, Lennar said in a statement today.

Revenue climbed 42 percent to $1.92 billion.

Analysts tracked by FactSet expected earnings of 62 cents a share on revenue of $1.88 billion.

Deliveries of homes jumped 27 percent, while new orders rose to 4,498 homes. The average sale price increased 18 percent to $307,000.

"While the political and interest-rate environment and our previously initiated price increases tempered new-sales orders in the fourth quarter, we were still pleased with our overall performance," Chief Executive Stuart Miller said in the statement.

Gross margin increased 330 basis points to 26.8 percent.

Lennar has consistently reported double-digit revenue growth in the past several quarters amid a broad housing-market recovery. Buyers have been leaving the sidelines as interest rates remained low by historical standards, making homeownership more affordable than renting in many markets. 

Earlier this month, fellow home builder Toll Brothers Inc. (NYSE:TOL) posted stronger adjusted income in its fiscal fourth quarter on increased home deliveries and revenue.





Wed, 18 Dec 2013 11:04:00 +0000
ADF hits 5-year high after swinging to Q3 profit ADF Group Inc. (TSE:DRX), a provider of complex steel structures and heavy steel built-ups, climbed to the highest in more than five years, after swinging to profit in its fiscal third quarter, driven by increasing orders.

ADF leaped as much as 17 percent to C$3.05, the highest intraday price since Sept. 2008. The shares were trading at C$2.85, up 9.6 percent, at 1:42 p.m. in Toronto. 

Net income in the three months ended Oct. 31 was C$4.4 million, or 13 Canadian cents a share, compared with a net loss of C$1.2 million, or 4 cents a share, in the year-earlier period, the Terrebonne, Quebec-based company said in a statement today.

Revenue more than quadrupled to C$33.8 million, from C$7.7 million a year earlier.

Gross margin, as a percentage of revenue, stood at 25.9 percent, compared with a 2.3 percent negative gross margin a year earlier.

The company attributed the growth to recently awarded contracts, particularly the Trois-Rivières and Quebec City amphitheaters, and to the acceleration of a Western Canada order.

"We have recorded our highest level of quarterly revenues in almost ten years," Chief Executive Officer Jean Paschini said in the statement.

During the quarter, ADF almost completed the construction of its new fabrication plant located in Great Falls, Montana. The company anticipates fabricating its very first steel pieces in early 2014. 

As of Oct. 31, ADF Group's order backlog totaled $55.4 million, and will be progressively executed over the next twelve months.



Fri, 06 Dec 2013 18:21:00 +0000
Norbord climbs as Q3 profit beats on higher OSB prices Norbord Inc. (TSE:NBD), the third-largest North American maker of wood sheathing used to build homes, jumped to the highest in more than seven months after reporting better-than-expected profit as OSB prices shot up.

Norbord rose 6.3 percent to $31.45 at 10.08 a.m. in Toronto, the highest price since March 15. The stock had rallied 35 percent in the twelve months through yesterday. 

Net income in the three months ended Sept. 28 was $27 million, or 50 cents a share, compared to $27 million or 59 cents a share, in the year-earlier period, the Toronto-based company said in a statement today. 

Earnings a 17 cents-a-share one-time non-recurring income tax recovery was 33 cents a share, above the 29 cents a share average estimate of 10 analysts.

Sales rose to $311 million, from $302 million.

The board of Norbord declared a quarterly dividend of 60 cents a share, payable on Dec. 21 to shareholders of record on Dec. 1.

Norbord is benefiting from a recovery in U.S. housing construction and higher prices for OSB, or oriented-strand board, a lumber look-alike that’s made by gluing wood flakes together.

"I am pleased with our third quarter result in spite of the volatile OSB pricing we've experienced in North America this year," Chief Executive Officer Barrie Shineton said in the statement. 

"Prices have adjusted by 45 percent since the spring, yet even at today's more moderate levels, we continue to generate attractive free cash flow.  OSB prices bottomed in September and we are now seeing a gradual, positive improvement that I believe will continue into the fourth quarter." 

In North America, Norbord said third-quarter shipments of OSB rose 11 per cent year-over-year due to improved mill operating performance and the ramp-up of the Jefferson, Texas mill. 

Norbord's OSB mills produced at approximately 80 percent of installed capacity, compared to 70 percent in the same quarter last year.

Louisiana-Pacific Corp. (NYSE:LPX) is the largest North American maker of OSB by production capacity, followed by Georgia-Pacific LLC, according Norbord’s website.



Fri, 01 Nov 2013 14:53:00 +0000
Lennar, KB Home report strong Q3 net; Lennar jumps, KB wavers Lennar Corp. (NYSE:LEN), the biggest U.S. homebuilder after PulteGroup Inc. (NYSE:PHM) and D.R. Horton Inc. (NYSE:DHI), and KB Home (NYSE:KBH), a U.S. homebuilder that targets first-time buyers, each reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as the U.S. housing recovery moves ahead. Lennar shares jumped while KB Home fluctuated in early trading.

Lennar's net income rose to $120.7 million, or 54 cents a share, in the three months ended Aug. 31, from $87.1 million, or 40 cents, in the year-earlier period, the Miami, Florida-based company said in a statement today. Quarterly revenue grew 46 percent to $1.60 billion. Analysts on average had been looking for earnings of 45 cents a share on revenue of $1.56 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

KB Home's profit for the June-to-August period rose to $27.3 million, or 30 cents a share, from $3.3 million, or 4 cents a share, a year earlier, the Los Angeles, California-based company said in a statement. The average estimate of 20 analysts polled by Bloomberg was for earnings of 23 cents a share. Revenue jumped 29 percent to $549 million, as deliveries increased 6 percent.

Lennar's shares jumped 4.3 percent to $36.02, the highest price in more than two months, at 9:48 a.m. in New York. KB Home's shares, meanwhile, slid 0.3 percent to $16.98 after rising to as high as $17.48.

Lennar said orders for new homes rose 14 percent in the third quarter and that the long-term view for its business remains "extremely bright". On the other hand, KB Home said orders fell 9 percent from a year earlier.

Lennar, KB Home and other U.S. homebuilders have managed to boost their earnings amid tight supplies of existing homes and growing demand from buyers, but they have been struggling since May as mortgage rates began rising on concern the Federal Reserve would scale back bond purchases.

PulteGroup is scheduled to report its quarterly results on Oct. 23 and D.R.Horton is due on Nov. 15.

Tue, 24 Sep 2013 15:06:00 +0100
Louisiana-Pacific to buy Canada's Ainsworth for C$906 mln Louisiana-Pacific Corp. (NYSE:LPX), a wood building materials maker, agreed to buy Ainsworth Lumber Co. (TSE:ANS), a Canadian forest-products company, for about C$906 million in cash and stock. Louisiana surged in early trading.

Louisiana-Pacific will pay about C$3.76 a share for Vancouver, British Colombia-based Ainsworth, which accounts for a 30 percent premium to Ainsworth closing price of C$2.89 on Sept. 3, the companies said in a statement after markets closed yesterday.

The transaction's value including assumed debt less Ainsworth's estimated cash balance is about $1.1 billion, according to the statement.

The sale consists of 52 percent in cash and 48 percent in Louisiana-Pacific shares, they said.

Nashville, Tennessee-based Louisiana-Pacific will finance the cash component of the transaction through a combination of cash on hand and on Ainsworth's books with new borrowings. It has already obtained a commitment for a senior secured term loan from Goldman Sachs and BMO Capital Markets.

The deal, expected to close by the end of the year, includes a C$32.5 million termination fee.

"Ainsworth has very high quality assets," Louisiana-Pacific's Chief Executive Officer Curt Stevens said in the statement.

"(Ainsworth) provides us with an expanded suite of strand-based products and technologies, additional access to key international growth markets, particularly in Asia, and enhanced scale and efficiencies in North America."

Louisiana-Pacific was raised to “buy” from "neutral" by analysts at DA Davidson.

Louisiana-Pacific spiked 10 percent to $16.80 at 9:45 a.m. in New York today, trimming this year's losses to 13 percent. Ainsworth leaped 30 percent to C$3.81 in Toronto, headed to erase this year's losses.







Thu, 05 Sep 2013 15:00:00 +0100
Diploma Group on funding drive Diploma Group (ASX: DGX) is preparing to announce a capital raising, with the ASX granting the company a trading halt - with its shares placed in pre-open.

Earlier in the week the company announced that it had exceeds earnings guidance for FY13, with earnings before interest and tax of $3.5 million, 40% above the mid-range guidance of $2.5 million.

Net profit after tax of $1.6 million was generated from revenue of $163.4 million and was impacted by the sale of the last of the remaining residual stock from the Groups Zenith apartment project to the extent of $2.2 million.

The halt will last until the earlier of an announcement being made to the market, or the opening or trade on Tuesday 13th August 2013.


Proactive Investors Australia is the market leader in producing news, articles and research reports on ASX “Small and Mid-cap” stocks with distribution in Australia, UK, North America and Hong Kong / China.

Thu, 08 Aug 2013 23:40:00 +0100
KB Home Q2 results beat view; shares climb KB Home (NYSE:KBH), the U.S. homebuilder that targets first-time buyers, said net loss in the second quarter narrowed by 88 percent and sales jumped 73 percent, topping estimates, as the number of delivered homes increased and average selling prices rose.  Shares rise to one-week high.

Net loss for the three months ended May 31 narrowed to $2.97 million, or 4 cents a share, compared to a loss of $24.14 million, or 31 cents a share, a year earlier, the Los Angeles, California-based company said in a statement on Thursday.

Excluding a $15.9 million water intrusion-related charge, KB Home generated net income of $12.9 million for the fiscal second quarter versus a net loss a year earlier.

Revenue in the March-to-May period rose 73 percent to $524.4 million, "reflecting an increase in the number of homes delivered and higher average selling prices across all of the Company’s homebuilding regions."

The average estimate of 22 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters was for a net loss of 7 cents a share on $450.8 million in revenue. 

Homes delivered in the quarter rose 39 percent from the year-earlier quarter to 1,797 homes, the seventh consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth, KB Home said. The company's overall average selling price increased 25 percent to $290,400 in the second quarter from a year earlier.

KB Home said it generated a second-quarter operating profit for the first time since 2006.

"Our outlook for 2013 remains favorable even with the second quarter charge associated with water intrusion repairs, which we believe puts the financial impact of the matter behind us." Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Mezger said in the statement.

"We remain confident that we are on course to achieve a solidly profitable 2013, with meaningful profits expected in each of the final two quarters of the year, and will continue to build positive momentum entering 2014," he added.

The shares advanced as much as 4.3 percent to $20.75, the highest intraday price since June 20, and were trading at $20.60, up 3.7 percent, at 9:50 a.m. in New York on Thursday. The stock had gained approximately 26 percent this year through Wednesday.




Thu, 27 Jun 2013 14:58:00 +0100
Diploma Group secures two construction contracts valued at $21 million in WA Diploma Group (ASX:DGX) has been awarded two contracts worth a total of $21 million for construction of residences and a store in Western Australia.

It has signed a contract with TRG Properties for the construction of 33 residences over three levels in Perry Lakes Floreat.

The award of this contract, with stage 1 commencing in two weeks, follows the award of the $35 million Ocean Edge contract for TRG, in Port Coogee, which is scheduled for Practical Completion in next June.

Diploma has also received a $3 million contract to construct a standalone 1500 square metres Dan Murphys store in Kwinana, which is likely to be completed by October 2013.

With the award of two contracts, Diploma's order book has reached to $260 million, which will be completed over the next 18 months.

As the medium to high density residential market remains buoyant in Western Australia, Diploma holes to secure other opportunities over the next 6 months.

Proactive Investors Australia is the market leader in producing news, articles and research reports on ASX “Small and Mid-cap” stocks with distribution in Australia, UK, North America and Hong Kong / China.

Thu, 27 Jun 2013 08:24:00 +0100
Lennar's Q2 results point toward solid housing recovery Lennar Corp (NYSE:LEN) shares rose Tuesday Morning along with the rest of the housing sector as strong U.S. housing data boosted sentiment, and as the company reported second quarter results that beat analyst forecasts. 

For the three months that ended May 31, net earnings for one of the U.S.'s largest homebuilders were $137.4 million, or 61 cents per share, compared to a profit of $452.7 million, or $2.06 per share, a year ago. The latest results included a partial reversal of the state deferred tax asset valuation allowance of $41.3 million, or 18 cents per share, compared to $403 million, or $1.85 per share, in the same quarter last year. 

Revenue rose 53 per cent to $1.4 billion as deliveries surged 39 per cent to 4,464 homes and, and the average sales price of homes delivered increased 13 per cent. New orders were up 27 per cent to 5,705 homes. 

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected earnings of 32 cents are share on revenue of $1.32 billion.

The company said it had a backlog of 6,163 homes at the end of the quarter, up 55 per cent, with a dollar value of $1.9 billion, a 76 per cent increase. The cancellation rate for the quarter was 14 per cent. 

Gross margin on home sales was 24.1 per cent, an improvement of 160 basis points from the year-ago period. 

Its homebuilding units pulled in operating earnings of $158.4 million, up from $55.8 million a year ago, while its financial services division made $29.2 million, compared to $18.0 million in the same quarter last year. Its operating earnings from Rialto Investments fell to $2.8 million from $4.3 million. 

"Against the backdrop of recent investor concerns over mortgage rate increases, we believe that our second quarter results together with real time feedback from our field associates continue to point towards a solid housing recovery," said CEO Stuart Miller in the release on Tuesday.

"Demand in all of our markets continues to outpace supply which is constrained by limited land availability and fewer competing homebuilders.  At the same time, affordability remains high and despite recent interest rate increases, we have seen very little impact on sales or pricing.

The average sales price of homes delivered increased to $283,000 in the second quarter of 2013 from $250,000 in the same period last year.

"As we have discussed on prior calls, conflicting macroeconomic data and interest rates reverting to normal levels can create headline risk to an otherwise straight-line recovery.  However, the fundamentals of the homebuilding industry continue to be primarily driven by high affordability levels, favorable monthly payment comparisons to rentals, and overall supply shortages," he said, adding that land availability will continue to be a constraint for some time, given the length of the downturn. 

Selling, general and administrative expenses were $136.6 million in the second quarter versus $105.4 million a year ago, but as a percentage of revenues from home sales, these expenses improved to 10.9 per cent from 13.2 per cent. 

The company, with cash and equivalents of $728 million at the end of the quarter, and no outstanding borrowings under its debt facility, saw its shares rise 2.5 per cent late Tuesday Morning, to $35.87, paring year-to-date losses to 6.7 per cent. 

The housing market also benefited Tuesday as the sales of new homes increased 2.1% last month to annual rate of 476,000 - the highest rate since mid 2008, providing more evidence of the strong recovery underway in the U.S. housing market. The figure well beat economists' expectations. 

Tue, 25 Jun 2013 16:16:00 +0100
ADF Group reports a Q1 loss, revenue drop Construction firm ADF Group (TSE: DRX) says its swung to a loss in the first quarter as its revenue dipped slightly. 

ADF reported a $0.3 million loss, or $0.01 per share, in the first three months of fiscal 2014, versus a profit of $0.1 million, or flat on a per-share basis, in the same prior-year quarter. 

Revenue fell 1.6 per cent to $12.3 million from $12.5 million last year. 

Gross margins declined to 11.3 per cent from 14.7 per cent due to new contracts with lower margins than last year's World Trade Centre projects. 

As of the end of April, the Terrebone, Quebec-based company had $31.4 million in working capital, which it says allows the company to "carry out its development projects" and maintain its dividend program. 

ADF says it has made "significant progress" in its Great Falls, Montana project, with the layout and infrastructure construction in progress for a fabrication plant.

"We still aim to bring our new facility on-stream by early 2014," said Jean Paschini, chairman and chief executive officer. 

During the quarter, ADF won a $46.6 million contract to build the steel structure for an amphitheatre in Quebec City. The contract will contribute to the financial results in the second half of the current fiscal year.

ADF order backlog reached $72.0 million as of the end of April, compared with $34.0 million on January 31.

Shares were unchanged at $1.45 as of 12:05 pm ET.

Wed, 12 Jun 2013 17:35:00 +0100
Stella-Jones Q1 profit jumps 25% as sales rise on acquisition

Stella-Jones (TSE:SJ) advanced 2.7 per cent after it said net income in the first quarter rose 25 per cent as sales increased 36.7 per cent to $217.0 million, citing "sustained demand" for the company's core railway tie and utility pole products. The latest quarter represents the first full period that includes the operating results of McFarland Cascade Holdings, which it acquired last November. 

The company, a maker of pressure-treated wood products, said net income for the three months that ended March 31 totalled $18.8 million, or $1.09 per share, versus $15.0 million, or 94 cents per share, a year earlier. 

Cash flow from operating activities, before changes in non-cash working capital components and interest and income tax paid, rose 26.3 per cent to $34.3 million.

Sales reached $217.0 million, an increase 36.7 per cent over last year's sales for the same period of $158.8 million. The company said the operating facilities acquired from McFarland contributed sales of roughly $65.0 million, while the conversion effect from fluctuations in the value of the Canadian dollar, Stella-Jones' reporting currency, versus the U.S. dollar, had a positive impact of $0.5 million on the value of U.S. dollar denominated sales when compared with the previous year's first quarter. 

Excluding these factors, sales decreased about $7.3 million, as a result of a slower start for rail related industrial products, the company said, and "more traditional seasonal demand patterns" for utility poles and residential lumber.

Railway tie sales amounted to $96.5 million, an increase of 0.5 per cent from a year earlier, while utility pole sales came in at $90.8 million, up from $43.5 million in the corresponding period last year. 

Industrial product sales fell to $11.9 million, compared with $15.2 million last year, mainly as a result of a slower start in rail projects, and sales in the residential lumber category jumped to $17.9 million from $4.2 million a year earlier on account of the McFarland operations. 

"Stella-Jones' role as a supplier of basic infrastructure will continue to serve us well and we expect demand for our core products to remain healthy for the remainder of 2013," said president and CEO Brian McManus. 

"In the short-term, the integration of the McFarland operations into our network and the ramp-up of our new facility in Georgia are our main priorities. We will use our enhanced abilities from an expanded network to better serve our customers and capture new business opportunities."

 As at the end of the quarter, Stella-Jones had total debt of $382.6 million.

The company also announced on Wednesday a quarterly dividend of 20 cents per common share payable on June 28, to shareholders of record at the close of business on June 3.

Shares of Stella-Jones rose 2.4 per cent in Toronto afternoon trade, to $86.49, stretching year-to-date gains to more than 12.8 per cent. 

Thu, 02 May 2013 19:53:00 +0100
Norbord gets boost from U.S. housing recovery  

Shares of Norbord (TSE:NBD) are surging nearly five per cent higher after reporting a boost in earnings as the U.S. housing sector shows signs of a recovery. 

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) soared five-fold in the first quarter to $111 million from $21 million a year ago. 

Norbord reported net income of $67 million or $1.26 per share after breaking even in the first quarter of 2012.

In a sign of Norbord's confidence in its future prospects, the company declared its first quarterly dividend in four-and-a-half years and will pay shareholders 60 cents per share.

"I believe Norbord’s peak earning years are still ahead," said president and chief executive officer Barrie Shineton in a release. 

Norbord says all major data trends point to a widespread recovery in U.S. housing, including prices, foreclosure inventory and housing starts, which it predicts will return to historical levels as "pent-up demand" kicks in. 

The company expects to bring an idle mill in Jefferson, Texas back into operation later this year, after it was mothballed more than four years ago. Other mills in Huguley, Alabama and Val-d’Or, Quebec will remain shuttered.

Norboard spent $12 million on capital expenditures during the quarter, mostly towards getting the Texas mill back online. It predicts annual capex spending to reach $70 million. 


Tue, 30 Apr 2013 16:19:00 +0100
D.R. Horton surges as Q2 results soar past Street views D.R. Horton (NYSE:DHI) today reported results for its second fiscal quarter that were well up on the year-ago figures, a result of a major increase in homebuilding revenue.

Net income for the builder's second fiscal quarter was up at US$111.0 million, a spike of 173 per cent, or 32 cents per diluted share, well up on the same figures for the quarter last year which saw net income of US$40.6 million, or 13 cents per diluted share.

Revenue for America's largest new home builder was up, with homebuilding revenue for the three months ending March 31 surging to US$1.4 billion from US$0.9 billion in the same quarter of 2012, an increase of 49 cent. Homes closed in the quarter increased to 5,643, compared to 4,240 homes in the year-ago quarter, an increase of 33 per cent. 

The results were well up on analyst expectations, which estimated earnings per share at 19 cents on expected revenue of US$1.26 billion.

The lion's share of revenue for the Fort Worth-headquartered company is attributable to home sales, which were recorded at US$1.36 billion for the quarter, well up on the year-ago figure of US$930 million. Revenue from land and lot sales and other also saw an uptick, coming in at US$21.7 million, an increase of several times the US$5 million recorded in the same quarter of 2012.

Net sales orders for the second quarter that ended March 31 increased 34 per cent to 7,879 homes from 5,899 homes in the year-ago quarter and the value of net sales orders increased 52 per cent to $2.0 billion from $1.3 billion.

The company’s sales order backlog of homes under contract at March 31, 2013 increased 54 per cent to 9,553 homes from 6,189 homes at March 31, 2012. The value of the backlog increased 76 per cent to $2.4 billion from $1.4 billion a year ago. 

“The spring selling season is off to a strong start at D.R. Horton, with robust demand driving higher sales volumes and favorable pricing, which is reflected in the 14% increase in our average selling price,” said chairman of the board, Donald R. Horton.

“We are in an excellent position to continue to meet increased sales demand and aggregate market share with 15,800 homes in inventory and 175,000 lots owned or controlled under option contracts, of which 58,000 lots are fully developed.”

Stock in the company was up on the back of the figures, trading on the NYSE at an intra-day high of US$26.15 per share, a spike of more than 26 per cent. 

Fri, 26 Apr 2013 15:06:00 +0100