FEDERAL WAY — Weyerhaeuser’s second-quarter net income climbed more than eightfold and the lumber and real estate company said Friday that there are signs the U.S. housing market is rebounding.
The housing market took a huge hit during the recession. It has been making a slow recovery recently, with those who can afford to buy taking advantage of low interest rates.
Weyerhaeuser Co. earned $84 million, or 16 cents per share, for the period ended June 30. That compares with $10 million, or 2 cents per share, a year ago.
Earnings were 9 cents per share when excluding a $51 million gain related to postretirement plan amendments. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected slightly higher earnings of 10 cents per share.
Revenue for the Federal Way company rose 11 percent to $1.79 billion from $1.61 billion. The results topped Wall Street’s estimate of $1.75 billion.
Weyerhaeuser’s shares added 16 cents to $23.07 before the market open.
Sales for the timberland unit climbed on better demand for domestic and export logs as well as seasonally higher fee harvest in the West and South. The wood products division’s sales also increased thanks in part to higher selling prices for lumber and oriented strand board.
The real estate unit also reported a rise in sales as home closings climbed and the average margins on those homes improved. Backlog, which is homes that have sold but not yet closed, jumped 53 percent from the prior-year period. Backlog is important because it represents potential future revenue.
Sales for the cellulose fibers segment dropped on higher planned maintenance costs, lower pulp production and the timing of shipments.
For the third quarter, Weyerhaeuser better earnings for its cellulose fibers and real estate divisions and lower earnings for its wood products unit. Earnings for the timberlands segment is expected to be flat at about $77 million.