Rail disruptions hurt LP performance

Nashville, Tennessee-based Louisiana-Pacific reported first-quarter sales of $445 million, a 16% decline compared with the year-ago quarter. 

Like most building-material companies with construction-related customers, the winter weather was cited as a drag on the company's performance. 

“The severe weather across much of North America in the first quarter took a toll on building activity and logistics,” said Curt Stevens, CEO. “The rail transportation systems in both the U.S. and Canada were in disarray in the first quarter, which caused unplanned downtime at our operations, increased inventory and late shipments and negatively affected our reported results.”

Loss from continuing operations was $14 million, compared with income from continuing operations of $65 million in the same quarter in 2013. 

"With better weather, we are hopeful that housing starts will accelerate to the forecasted level of 1.1 million for 2014,” continued Stevens. “Our current order files are mu