USG's building materials segment and the seventh-largest company in the 2014 Prosales 100L&W Supply, posted a $7 million operating profit in the fourth quarter of 2014 on net sales of $342 million. The latest results represent a gain from last year's 4Q operating profit of $4 million on net sales of $314 million.

This is L&W Supply's seventh consecutive quarter of operating profits.

Overall, USG reported a net loss of $53 million on net sales of $954 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. The latest earnings show a marked decline from the company's year-ago 4Q net loss of $4 million, but a 4 percent increase from its 4Q2013 net sales of $915 million.

The posted losses, the company says, are due to "$75 million of charges for impairments and other related costs associated with its non-core shipping business and $13 million of charges to permanently settle a pension plan in the United Kingdom."

Even so, the company posted a $24 million operating loss for the quarter, down from an operating profit of $60 million this time last year.

Despite the mixed company-wide results, USG president and CEO James Metcalf was optimistic about the year ahead. "All of our businesses are heading in the right direction, and we are well positioned for profitable growth in all of our improving end markets," he said.

 "While the pace of the recovery is clearly more shallow than what we were anticipating, our trajectory continues to be positive, and we are confident that 2015 will outperform 2014," added Metcalf.