A $44.8 million income tax benefit enabled Building Materials Holding Corp. (BMHC) to swing to a $17.9 million profit in October, its fourth full month under Chapter 11 bankruptcy, America's sixth-biggest LBM company reported late Monday.

Excluding that tax benefit, BMHC would have incurred a $27 million loss for October, more than double any other monthly loss since filing for Chapter 11 protection from creditors in mid-June. On a pretax basis, the Boise, Idaho-based company reported $23.2 million in losses.

Sales totaled $54.3 million in sales, down 11.1% from September, while there were $77.5 million in expenses, $44.1 million of which were for the cost of goods sold. Selling, general and administrative expenses amounted to $15.8 million.

As of Oct. 31, BMHC had $88.1 million in accounts receivable, about 15% less than at the end of September. Of that $88.1 million roughly $19.7 million, or 22.4% of the total AR, was more than 90 days past due. That's about the same as in August and September.

October's $17.9 million net profit takes away close to half of the $40.8 million in net losses that BMHC had accumulated since entering Chapter 11 on June 16. BMHC--the No. 6 dealer on this year's ProSales 100, with total sales in 2008 of $1.3 billion--has said regularly that it hopes to emerge from Chapter 11 by year-end. On Nov. 19, a federal bankruptcy judge issued an order giving BMHC a three-month extension of its exclusive rights to offer a reorganization plan and solicit approval for that plan to exit from Chapter 11 bankruptcy-law protection. The action means BMHC now has exclusive rights through Jan. 12 to propose a reorganization plan and through March 15 to solicit acceptances of that plan.