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Weyerhaeuser earnings down 55 percent

Federal Way, Wash.-based Weyerhaeuser saw net earnings of $101 million for the third quarter, down 55 percent from earnings of $224 million in the same period last year. Sales fell 10.9 percent to $4.1 billion from $4.6 billion.

The company took several charges in the quarter, including a $17 million charge for closures and restructuring in the company’s wood products segment, and an additional $17 million charge for restructuring administrative functions, including adding a new information technology provider.

Weyerhaeuser also took $16 million in charges on real estate assets. The company recorded a $26 million gain for legal settlements and a $7 million gain on the sale of closed operations.

"An already weak wood products market deteriorated further during the third quarter," said Steven Rogel, chairman, president and CEO. "We were adjusting our production to meet our reduced order level, but we took additional action in the quarter as demand and prices slid. We will continually adjust our operating posture as necessary to balance production with demand.”

The company has seen improved mill productivity in its cellulose fibers and containerboard packaging segments, Rogel said.

Earlier this month, the forest products company said it will close parts of two mills in Louisiana and Georgia.

The company will convert its plywood operation in Dodson, La., to a veneer manufacturing operation effective Oct. 26, and will stop veneer production at its Colbert, Ga., operation. The Colbert site will continue to be used for beam construction, the company said.

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