Net loss at Louisiana-Pacific Corp. (LP) more than doubled from the same period a year ago to reach $65.6 million during the quarter, the company announced today. Net sales, meanwhile, improved 9% to $350.6 million during the quarter ended Sept. 30.

Loss from operations at the Nashville, Tenn.-based building material manufacturer also widened dramatically during the third quarter, from a $15.9 million loss during 2010's third quarter, to hit $72.7 million. A $65 million loss on sale or impairment of long-lived assets was a key contributor to the larger continuing operations loss.

The difference between the net loss and operating loss was a $20.9 million benefit for income taxes and $6 million equity in loss on unconsolidated affiliates. Total operating costs and expenses climbed 25% to $423.3 million. Loss from continuing operations was $59.3 million, compared with a $30.9 million loss a year ago.

EBITDA from continuing operations, which the company defines as continuing earnings before interest expense, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, was a $46.4 million loss during the quarter, more than triple the loss from the same period a year ago. Adjusted EBITDA, which the company said excludes stock-based compensation expenses, loss on sales or impairment of long-lived assets, other operating charges and credits, and investment incomes, swung into the red with a $6.4 million loss.

"The building products market moved ahead at a slow pace in the third quarter," said CEO Rick Frost. "Housing activity remains at low levels, consumer confidence has been negatively affected by the political situation in Washington and job recovery remains muted."

As for the company's segments, operating loss in the oriented strand board (OSB) unit more than tripled to $16 million, while sales fell just over $1 million to $138.8 million. Operating profit at LP's siding division rose 27% to $9.3 million behind a $7.4 million increase in sales to $112 million. Engineered wood improved its operating loss to $3.2 million, compared with a $4.9 million loss last year. Sales for the segment also jumped 44% to $54.9 million.

Total production of OSB climbed 5% to 857 million square feet (3/8-inch basis). Wood-based siding, also measured on a 3/8-inch basis, increased 32% to 192 million square feet. Engineered I-joist production rose 25% to 15 million lineal feet, while total production of laminated veneer lumber and laminated strand lumber improved 46% to 1.6 million cubic feet.

"LP will continue to act cautiously for the rest of 2011 and into 2012," said Frost. "While there has been some recent good news in housing starts and remodeling activity, the base economy seems to be fairly flat. Longer term, the estimated 23.2 million adults now living with their parents should eventually become homeowners."

The company also announced today that executive vice president Curt Stevens, who is currently CFO, was named to the interim position of executive vice president and COO, a newly created position. Sallie B. Bailey was named as the new CFO. The move takes effect on Dec. 5.

"LP will continue to benefit from Curt's experience and deep knowledge of LP in his role as chief operation officer," Frost said. "We are also very fortunate that someone of Sallie's caliber and experience has chosen to join the LP team as CFO."