Earnings wrap: CCA, LP

Prison manager beats but guides below Street; rising costs push manufacturer into red

Prison manager Corrections Corp. of America reported a fourth-quarter profit of $47.5 million, an increase of 4.5 percent from late 2012. Per diluted share, adjusted net income was 44 cents, a penny better than analysts had expected.

Revenues at Nashville-based CCA climbed about 1 percent during the quarter to $431 million, but higher operating expenses cut operating income to $56 million from $80.3 million. A small income tax benefit — courtesy of the company's new REIT structure — versus a $22 million tax bill of a year ago helped the bottom line grow.

CEO Damon Hininger said he was pleased with the Q4 numbers and said CCA has started 2014 "with positive momentum." But he and his team forecast that the company will earn between $1.84 and $1.92 per share this, which is below the $1.95 consensus estimate among analysts following the company. Their Q1 forecast of 42 to 44 cents also is a little less than the consensus of 45 cents.

Louisiana-Pacific posted a fourth-quarter loss from continuing operations of $19.2 million versus a profit of more than $48 million in late 2012. Per diluted share, the loss was 14 cents, well below the profit of 5 cents analysts had been expecting.

Revenues at downtown-based LP came in at $480 million for the quarter, up 6 percent from the last three months of 2012. Operating losses were $22 million as the company's cost of sales and selling and administrative expenses climbed 16 percent and 28 percent, respectively. The company's core oriented strand board segment saw its operating profit slide to $6.6 million from $58 million.

CEO Curt Stevens pointed out that each of the LP's segments posted positive EBITDA during Q4 and that U.S. housing starts are expected to grow by almost 20 percent this year to almost 1.1 million.