BFS narrowed its fourth-quarter and year-end losses as rising lumber prices make the dealer averse to long-term pricing. Read the full story.

Huttig posted its first annual operating gain since FY 2005, reversing its year-earlier $10.2 million loss to record $2.8 million from operations as sales climbed 8.7% from a year earlier to $520.5 million for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2012. That growth helped Huttig continue to dig out of the red. Its year-end net loss of $500,000 marks significant bottom-line improvement from the company’s 2008 earnings trough, which showed a loss of $35.2 million. Margins grew to 19.2% in 2012 from 18.5% a year earlier, with $2.3 million in cash reported at the end of 2012, compared to $700,000 in 2011. 

In its annual filing, the St. Louis, Mo.-based building-products distributor reported slower roofing sales compared to the prior year were stabilized by double-digit year-over-year sales increases among its millwork and structural wood products—13% to $242.3 million and 10% to $58.8 million, respectively. Of growth in wood-products sales, the company reported a 23% increase in engineered wood product sales.

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An extra week of sales and continued demand from Hurricane Sandy in the northeast added an extra punch to Home Depot’s quarterly and year-end report as the national home-improvement retailer grew its bottom line to $1.02 billion from $774 million a year earlier as sales rose 13.7% to $18.2 billion during the fourth quarter ended Feb. 3, 2013 from the year-earlier period. The extra week of sales added $1.2 billion in revenue for the quarter and the year, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

For the fiscal year ended Feb. 3, the company reported net income of $4.5 billion on sales of $74.7 billion, compared to a net gain of $3.88 billion and revenues of $70.4 million for the fiscal year ended Jan. 29, 2012.

In a call with analysts Tuesday morning, company officials explained that increased sales among products such as generators, plywood, cleaning supplies, and safety and security equipment are related to the hurricane-related repair and recovery efforts. So far, those have generated $242 million in sales—a number that could continue to grow through the first half of 2013, chief financial officer Carol Tomé said. Tomé notes that the company saw next-year gains from Hurricane Irene, which hit in 2011 but added $48 million in net sales during 2012. “The nature of the demand was so very different than Irene,” she said. While Irene brought heavy winds, Sandy’s extensive flooding in areas of coastal New England will require more intensive structural repairs that could take longer to play out.

Tickets valuing more than $900—which made up 20% of U.S. sales during the quarter—increased 9% for the period, a gain company officials attribute to an increase in generator sales due to Hurricane Sandy and an uptick in appliance sales.

Credit availability remains a key issue for pros, Tomé said, with 68% of pro customers approved for credit by the store during 2012, down from more than 70% a year earlier. She noted that the average pro customer spends $6,000 per ticket and shops 60 times per year.

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