Oct 25 Timber conglomerate Weyerhaeuser Co
reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as
margins improved in its homebuilding business, which it is
looking to sell.
The company is in advanced talks to sell its homebuilding
and real estate development unit for $2.7 billion to Tri Pointe
Homes Inc, Reuters reported earlier this week, quoting
sources familiar with the matter.
Weyerhaeuser, which said in June it was reviewing strategic
options for the unit, said on Friday it expects "significantly"
higher earnings from single-family homebuilding this quarter.
Closings for single-family homes are expected to increase to
over 1,100 in the fourth quarter from 768 in the third quarter,
the company said on Friday.
Weyerhaeuser said it expects higher average closing prices
and selling-related costs at the business due to the additional
The business accounted for a fifth of the company's net
profit in the third quarter.
The homebuilding industry in the United States is adjusting
to a slowdown in new orders after seven consecutive quarters of
strong demand as rising interest rates and economic uncertainty
The Dow Jones Home Construction index has lost a
fifth of its value since May.
Weyerhaeuser's third-quarter net earnings rose to $157
million, or 27 cents per share, from $117 million, or 22 cents
per share, a year earlier.
Net sales jumped 23 percent to $2.18 billion.
Analysts expected a profit of 21 cents per share on revenue
of $2.09 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
PulteGroup Inc, the No. 2 U.S. homebuilder, reported
higher third-quarter gross margins on Thursday, and said a
slowdown in new home orders would be "short-lived" as Americans
return to the market after a period of economic uncertainty.