LP’s Q4 net loss widens

Louisiana-Pacific reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $46.6 million, compared with a net loss of $6.8 million in the prior-year quarter. For the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011, LP reported net sales of $312 million, down 1.3% from $316 million in the fourth quarter of 2010.

“Demand for building products slowed in the fourth quarter due to seasonality and inventory reduction actions taken by our customers at year end,” said LP's CEO, Rick Frost. “For the full year, U.S. single-family housing starts were down 9% to a 50-year low, which made 2011 another tough year for LP. On the bright side, our South American operations had a record year of profitability, and LP ended 2012 with a strong balance sheet that included $340 million in cash.”

For the year ended Dec. 31, LP posted a net loss of $170.7 million compared with a net loss of $39.0 million in the prior year. Net sales for the year totaled $1.357 billion compared with $1.384 billion in 2010.

LP's OSB segment reported net sales for the fourth quarter of $131 million, up 3% from $127 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. For the full year, OSB reported sales of $542 million, down 10% from the prior year.

The company’s Siding segment reported net sales of $93 million in the fourth quarter, a decrease of 10% from $103 million in the year-ago fourth quarter. For the full year, Siding reported sales of $430 million, about flat from the prior year.

The Engineered Wood Products (EWP) segment reported sales in the fourth quarter of $46 million, down 6% from $49 million in the year-ago quarter. For the full year, EWP reported sales of $203 million, up 6% from the prior year.

The South America segment reported sales in the fourth quarter of 2011 of $34 million, up 34% percent from $25 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. For the full year, South America reported sales of $145 million, up 16% from the prior year.

“Recently, we have seen some hopeful signs of growth in the North American housing market, which is good news,” Frost added. “Because the economy is still fragile, with slow job growth and little progress made to address our country's underlying fiscal issues, we are planning on a slow recovery in 2012. Fortunately, our financial situation allows us to be prepared to satisfy market demand if housing is better than we expect.”