RPT-James Hardie cuts earnings forecast amid U.S. housing uncertainty
SYDNEY Feb 27 (Reuters) - Australian building materials group James Hardie on Wednesday cut its forecast for full-year earnings due to uncertain housing market conditions in the United States, after reporting a 3 percent rise in its third-quarter net profit.
James Hardie, the world's largest manufacturer of fibre cement products, revised its earnings forecast to a range of $136 million to $141 million for the year ending March, compared to its 2012 full-year profit of $142.8 million.
It had said in November it expected its 2013 profit to come in a range from $140 million to $150 million
"Management cautions that housing market conditions remain uncertain and some input costs remain volatile," the company said in a statement.
The company, which earns two-thirds of its revenue in the United States and Europe, saw its shares rise 0.9 percent to A$9.44 in volatile mid-morning trade.
James Hardie posted a $28.8 million net operating profit, excluding asbestos and tax adjustments, for the three months to December 2012, compared with $28.0 million a year ago.
The result was below the average forecast of $32.4 by three analysts, according to Thomson Reuters data.
James Hardie's results came after the U.S. Commerce Department said sales of new U.S. single-family homes jumped 15.6 percent to a 4-1/2 year high in January, raising hopes that the U.S. housing market was recovering.
On Tuesday, the world's largest home improvement chain Home Depot Inc posted better-than-expected earnings, helped by a recovering housing market.
Trending On Reuters
We are living longer but not creating financial plans to keep pace. Advisers give tips on how to make sure you don’t outlive your money. Video