Deltic Timber (DEL) reported earnings earlier this week that were severely down year-over-year. DEL, a $844M market cap company based in Arkansas, blamed a depressed housing and construction market that has forced timber prices lower.
Here is the related commentary from the press release:
“Lumber prices in 2010 [benefited] from a supply-side driven price increase primarily caused by a sawmill log supply shortage due to inclement weather in the southeast portion of the U.S…
…[There are] continued depressed economic conditions for the forest and building products and residential and commercial real estate development businesses. We remained profitable even with persistent record-low prices for pine sawtimber, lack of the usual spring building-season benefit to lumber prices, continuation of a depressed residential real estate market, and absence of a commercial acreage real estate sale.”
The average sales price for pine sawtimber remained level at $26/ton with last year’s first quarter. Pine pulpwood plummeted over this same period by 50% to $8/ton. Average lumber sales price fell 14% over this period to $266 per thousand board feet. No forecasts were provided for future prices.
One of the few areas of the economy the Federal Reserve has failed to inflate continues to be mired in recession-like conditions. Thus motivating the Fed to continue to be accomodative in its monetary policy. On the other hand, these depressed conditions have not prevented Deltic’s stock from performing well. Stocks have, of course, well-benefited from the Fed’s printing of money. Corporate profits are now at all-time highs and DEL expects to turn in good profit performance going forward.
Prices in the depressed lumber industry have risen recently, as production has fallen to meet demand and dealers have begun restocking inventories…
The publication reports the recent price of framing lumber was up 9.7 percent from a year ago and the cost of structural panels was 2.6 percent higher.