Acquisitions and a planned merger this fall with Stock Building Supply caused BMC to record a $1.4 million loss from continuing operations in the first half of 2015, a new SEC filing reveals. The same document also shows BMC got much of its $94 million operating profit in 2014 from a tax benefit. After adjustments, however, both earnings periods indicate the company is solidly in the black.

The filing recorded Aug. 17 also shows Atlanta-based BMC racked up $109.2 million in operating losses between 2010 and 2012 before it swung in 2013 to a $21.7 million operating profit. 2014 looked far better, with BMC recording a net profit of $94 million, but a footnote points out that the number "includes a $76.1 million tax benefit related to the reversal of a valuation allowance."

The document provides some of the first numbers regarding BMC since it came out of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy-law reorganization several years ago. It's doing so now because the private company is merging with Stock in a deal that will give BMC's shareholders roughly 60% of a new public company that will be known as BMC Stock Holdings Inc.

The first-half operating loss doesn't appear to relate to sales; those totaled $650 million in the first half of this year, up 1.4% from the year-earlier period--and more than BMC took in during all of 2011. Gross profit wasn't the culprit, either, it jumped 6.5% to $150.5 million, giving BMC a gross profit margin amounting to 23.1% of sales.

On the other hand, the selling, general, and administrative expenses category swelled by nearly 16%, or nearly $18 million, to total $150.5 million. It includes a combined $5.5 million in merger- and acquisition-related costs that counts both the planned combination with Stock as well as the April 20 acquisition of VNS. BMC also spent $2.5 million on move of its headquarters from Boise, Idaho. Another $2.8 million was spent to have a reinsurer assume "the insurance deductible reserves relating to workers compensation claims incurred for claim years 2006 through 2011," the filing reported.

Like many companies, BMC prefers to focus on adjusted EBITDA--earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, as well as the types of special costs cited above: merger and acquisition costs, stock compensation expenses, relocation costs, insurance deductible reserve adjustments, restructuring costs, and transfers of loss portfolios. On an adjusted EBITDA basis, BMC reports it turned positive in 2011, posted a $77.3 million positive adjusted EBITDA in 2014 and was at $32.4 million in the first half of 2014.

Stock, which also went through a Chapter 11 reorganization at about the same time, has been more transparent in the past two years because it's a public company. Its part of the filing reported that income from continuing operations doubled to $4.4 million on a 3.7% climb in sales to $647.7 million. Gross profit climbed 7% to $157.7 million, giving Stock a gross margin equaling 24.4% of sales. 

BMC currently ranks ninth and Stock 10th on the ProSales 100. Once they merge this fall, their combined $2.6 billion sales operation are likely to put them fourth on the PS100, behind the newly merged Builders FirstSource/ProBuild combination, ABC Supply, and the planned merger of Beacon Roofing Supply with Roofing Supply Group. (See ProSales' Deals page.)