Net earnings at Eagle Materials fell 38% from the same period last year, to reach $6 million during its fiscal second quarter ended Sept. 30, the company reported today. Revenues rose 2% to $134.8 million. Gross profit decreased 36% to $8.7 million.

Overall operating income in the gypsum wallboard and paperboard segment fell 70% to $1.5 million at the Dallas-based company. The gypsum wallboard segment posted an operating loss of $2.5 million, a swing into the red from the $1.3 million operating income it posted in the July-September 2010 quarter. The gypsum paperboard segment increased its operating income by 5% to $4 million. The company said lower wallboard average net sales and higher costs for raw materials were the drivers of the earnings decline during the quarter.

Revenues in the gypsum paperboard segment also increased by just under $1 million to reach $21.3 million, while gypsum wallboard sales rose just over $600,000 to $60 million.

Sales volume for gypsum wallboard climbed 2%, compared with the same period a year ago, to 403 million square feet, while sales prices fell 4% to $92.09 per million square feet. Overall sales volume for paperboard, which includes external and internal products, fell 3% to 60,000 tons, while sales price rose 11% to $524.20 per ton.

The company's cement segment, which includes both its wholly owned and joint ventures, reported a 25% increase in operating earnings to finish the quarter at $15.1 million. Sales at its wholly owned cement plants, increased $150,000 to $48.9 million.

The concrete and aggregates segment saw operating income nosedive 90% to $44,000, even though sales increased almost $1 million, reaching $13.7 million.