Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (LP) tightened its losses in 2009 and this morning reported a fourth quarter net loss of $49 million as compared to a net loss in the fourth quarter of 2008 of $341 million.
For the full year, LP posted a net loss of $121 million compared to a loss in 2008 of $579 million. Adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations for the year was a loss of $44 million compared to a loss of $155 million for 2008.
For the quarter the company reported a loss from continuing operations of $47 million, compared to a loss from continuing operations of $341 million in 2008. For the year, the Nashville, Tenn.-based building products manufacturer reported a loss from continuing operations of $117 million, as compared to a loss of $565 million for 2008.
Total sales for the fourth quarter were up 10% to $275 million from $250 million during the same period last year. However, for the year, sales declined 23% to $1.1 billion from $1.4 billion in 2008.
"While I am glad 2009 is behind us, LP made significant improvements compared to the prior year," CEO Rick Frost said in a statement issued today.
"All of our operating segments improved in 2009 despite housing starts falling by 39%," Frost noted. "We also significantly improved our balance sheet with a net cash position of more than $160 million compared to a net debt of almost $35 million at the end of 2008."
LP's oriented strand board (OSB) segment reported net sales of $114 million for the fourth quarter of 2009, up 4% compared with $109 million in net sales in the fourth quarter of 2008. For the fourth quarter of 2009, the OSB segment reported an operating loss of $17 million, a 45% improvement from an operating loss of $31 million in the fourth quarter of 2008.
During the quarter, sales volumes were up 16% with sales price decreasing by 5%. Decrease in sales price accounted for a decline of $5.3 million in both operating results and adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations.
LP operated eight OSB facilities in the quarter. Just prior to year end, LP permanently closed two previously curtailed mills in Athens, Ga., and Silsbee, Texas, the company said.
In the company's siding segment, net sales rose 13% to $86 million during the quarter. The segment also reported an operating income of $5 million compared to loss of $11 million in the year-ago quarter. For the fourth quarter, LP reported $9 million in adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations in this segment, an improvement of $16 million as compared to the fourth quarter of 2008.
LP's engineered wood products segment, including I-Joist, laminated veneer lumber, laminated strand lumber saw sales drop 2% to for the quarter from $45 million in the fourth quarter 2008. Operating losses decreased 24% to $9 million for the fourth quarter of 2009 from $12 million for the fourth quarter of 2008.
For the fourth quarter, LP reported a loss of $6 million in adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations in this segment. It marked an improvement of $2 million as compared to the fourth quarter of 2008. The margin improvement was due to reduced manufacturing and support costs associated with the mill that produces laminated strand lumber, LP said.
"The consensus view is that the housing market in 2010 will be better than last year although there is much debate about the pace and magnitude of the recovery," Frost said.
"With current stimulus programs scheduled to end and new programs being considered to improve the job situation and access to funds, the economy is likely to remain volatile," Frost added. "From LP's perspective, we have demonstrated the flexibility to improve results in a declining market."