Louisiana-Pacific posted a second-quarter loss from continuing operations of $37.2 million, slightly larger than its year-ago number. Per diluted share and excluding one-time items — primarily a $52 million on the early retirement of some debt — the company posted a profit of 2 cents, 2 cents worse than analysts had been expecting.
Revenues at downtown-based LP climbed 18 percent from the spring of 2011 to $428 million and operating income came in at $19.0 million versus a loss of more than $23 million a year ago. Cash flow from operations jumped 60 percent $47.1 million.
But the small miss on the bottom line weighed on investors. At about 11 a.m., shares of LP (Ticker: LPX) were off more than 8 percent to about $10.10. Volume was heavy, with more than the entire daily average volume already having changed hands.
Speaking to analysts and investors on his team’s conference call, CEO Curt Stevens said he is upbeat about the growth in residential construction —housing starts are expected to reach 750,000 this year, up 25 percent from 2011, and grow to more than 900,000 in 2013 — but said he is “also maintaining an agile stance” as it relates to idled plants.
Stevens said any decision on adding capacity — be it in the form of added shifts or restarting idled factories — will likely be made in the middle of 2013 once it becomes clear that housing starts are indeed on pace to meet current forecasts. Any move to reopen factories would cost the company between $5 million and $10 million, depending on how long they’ve been idled.
Also on the call, LP execs said they’ve begun the planning and permitting process to add a third mill in Chile. That work should take close to a year.