Building materials manufacturer Louisiana-Pacific on Tuesday posted a second-quarter loss of $19.5 million, a year after it eked out a small profit. Sales fell 5 percent during the quarter to $493 million, with shipments of the company's core oriented strand board products rising 11 percent but prices falling 15 percent.
"The continued weakness in OSB pricing in the quarter, we believe, was caused by the reduction in demand due to very wet weather in the middle of the country, including Texas," said CEO Curt Stevens. "With the distribution channel relatively full coming out of the first quarter, re-ordering was at a slower pace than anticipated."
Stevens said the second-half outlook for housing starsts is promising. In mid-morning trading, shares of LP (Ticker: LPX) were down slightly to $15.61.
Executives at oil refiner and marketer Delek US Holdings said the company's Q2 profit came in at $48.3 million, down from $54.9 million in the year-earlier period. Revenues slipped to $1.69 billion from $2.37 billion as oil prices and operating income fell to $79.8 million from $106 million.
Chairman, President and CEO Uzi Yemin said the company's Texas refinery put up strong numbers after a March expansion project and that their Arkansas refinery now has access to crude oil from an Exxon pipeline that that company recently reversed. Delek's 360-store retail business saw its fuel margin slip to 15.3 cents from 19.3 cents, which cut its contribution margin 14 percent to $14.3 million.
Looking ahead, Yemin said Delek's capital spending needs will drop off in the second half, "which should create the potential for increased free cash flow from our operations." At about 11:15 a.m., shares of the company (Ticker: DK) were changing hands at $34.64, up 0.6 percent on the day.
Louisiana-Pacific executives have put in place plans to begin selling a number of their products in the six Middle Eastern countries that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council. The Nashville-based company is particularly focused on marketing its concrete form beams.
Sixteen years ago, happenstance created an unforgettable marketing boon for the Tennessee Titans.
The release of the popular movie Remember the Titans coincided with the NFL franchise’s unexpected run to the Super Bowl during the 1999 season. The film only added to the undeniable fairy tale feeling as the team rolled to a 13-3 regular season record and three playoff victories.
If there is actual value in that type of name synergy, the franchise’s new 20-year naming rights deal with Nissan North America might actually put the Titans, who have not reached the postseason since 2008, back on the road to success.
The pact, financial terms for which are not being disclosed, rebrands the team’s home field as Nissan Stadium and guarantees an important revenue stream that extends beyond the current lease. For the automaker, which has its North American headquarters in Franklin, the move comes in advance of its launch of the new American Titan pickup, which is produced at its Smyrna plant.
“It marks an alliance between two companies who value their deep roots in Middle Tennessee,” Kenneth Adams IV, grandson of Tennessee Titans founder Bud Adams and a member of the current ownership group, said in announcing the deal Thursday at the stadium. “… Like the Titans, Nissan clearly values Middle Tennessee.
“We believe that this is a great day for all of us.”
The announcement event drew a broad cross section of Middle Tennessee’s political, business and sports leaders.
In addition to the Titans, Nissan Stadium will continue to be home field for Tennessee State’s football team, a primary locale for the annual CMA Fest and the site of other events, such as next week’s international soccer match between the United States and Guatemala.
“Smart collaboration creates bold opportunity and this is certainly creates a great opportunity for both of these organizations,” Mayor Karl Dean said. “… This stadium is one of the most recognizable features of the Nashville skyline. Its opening back in 1999 was a signal to the rest of the country that Nashville was a big league city.
“Everyone calls us the ‘It City’ now, but getting an NFL team and stadium were important building blocks to our success,” Dean added.
LP Building Products struck a 10-year deal, which has now expired, in 2006 to have its name on the venue. The deal with Nissan came together over a period of 18 months but does not eliminate the team’s ties with Nashville-based LP, which will remain a corporate sponsor and suite holder.
From 1999 through 2002, the facility was known as Adelphia Coliseum. That association fell apart when Adelphia Communications Corp. filed for bankruptcy.
“We’re excited to solidify a long-term deal,” Adams IV said. “We’re obviously on our third name and I think it’s important for us to solidify that name for years. Nissan was on board with that. They certainly didn’t want to have to renegotiate after a few years.
“They’re good with it.”
The question is whether or not the Titans can be a better team because of it.
Apparently, entering into a naming rights deal with the Tennessee Titans not only allows a corporation to put its name on the NFL team’s home field, it also provides the opportunity to define the venue.
Adelphia considered the structure on the East bank of the Cumberland River a coliseum. For the last 10 years, LP Building Products viewed it as a field.
Now comes Nissan North America and its belief that it is a stadium.
The Titans have reached an exclusive 20-year agreement with the automaker that will rebrand the facility as Nissan Stadium beginning with the coming season, according to a report from The Tennessean. The report said a formal announcement was to come Thursday.
Downtown-basd LP signed a 10-year deal in 2006 that established LP Field as the Titans’ home. That deal is set to expire this year, although The Tennessean report says that the sides will maintain a business partnership.
The building was called Adelphia Coliseum from 1999 through 2002 and simply The Coliseum in between that deal and the one with LP.
Louisiana-Pacific Executive Vice President Jeff Wagner has signed the papers governing his retirement from the company, effective July 1. Wagner, who had led LP's oriented strand board business until earlier this year, will walk away with a deal to be paid his $355,000 salary and health insurance for the next 18 months and have his restricted stock vest as scheduled, among other things.
Louisiana-Pacific director Kurt Landgraf has cashed in some of his stock options in the building materials manufacturer. Landgraf, a former president and CEO of Educational Testing Service, last Thursday converted almost 37,000 options that would have expired from 2018 to 2022 and then sold that number of shares. His profit on the deal topped $320,000. Shares of downtown-based LP (Ticker: LPX) have surged from $15.24 to almost $18 this month and are now up 8 percent year to date.
RBC Capital Markets analyst Paul Quinn has boosted his rating on shares of Louisiana-Pacific to 'sector perform' from 'underperform,' citing a positive outlook for the price of oriented strand board because of limited inventory coming to market soon. But Quinn's price target of $15 is still about 8 percent below where LP (Ticker: LPX) ended Monday's session.
Over at Goldman Sachs, analyst Neil Mehta has gone the other way with shares of Delek US Holdings and a number of other oil refiners, cutting them from 'buy' to 'neutral.' Mehta now has a price target of $43 on Delek, which has climbed about 40 percent year to date. His call helped take Delek down almost 5 percent Monday, with shares (Ticker: DK) closing at $37.80.
"While we recognize further upside may exist from restructuring/M&A optionality at DK: (1) risk/reward appears more balanced after share price strength and (2) we expect WTI-Midland differentials will stay compressed with new pipeline capacity additions," the analysts explained.
Wunderlich Securities analyst Kevin Reynolds has lifted his price target for shares of Pinnacle Financial Partners to $48 from $40 but is keeping his 'hold' rating. The largest bank headquartered in Nashville (Ticker: PNFP) got a lift this week from the news that is plans to buy Chattanooga's CapitalMark Bank & Trust. In Friday morning trading, they're down slightly to $44.65.
Over at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, analysts have taken Louisiana-Pacific down a notch to 'neutral' from 'buy' and trimmed their price target to $17 from $18. Shares of downtown-based LP (Ticker: LPX) are off about 0.5 percent to $16 today and down about 3 percent year to date.
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