Bison Building Materials, the Houston-based LBM operation that has been operating under Chapter 11 since last June, reported a net loss of $677,414 for March. It also reached an agreement recently to sell more than $450,000 worth of rebar-related equipment to Hartman Building Specialties, a Beaumont, Texas-based masonry and concrete supply firm.

Bison's revenues in March jumped to $12.5 million, its best showing in eight months. But the cost of goods, at $9.7 million, also was the highest it has been since the company filed for bankruptcy-law protection from creditors. That left it with a gross profit of $2.8 million.

Operating expenses totaled $2.9 million in March, leaving an operating loss of $103,488, its lowest deficit since September, the company reported in an April 22 bankruptcy court filing. Interest expenses, depreciation, and shutdown costs added another half million dollars to the expense line, producing the $677,414 net loss.

As of March 31, the firm had $15.1 million of accounts receivable, of which $1.4 million, or 9.4%, were at least 91 days past due. That's down from 10.3% in February and 14.8% in December.

Bison ranked No. 14 on last year's ProSales 100, with 2008 revenues of $271 million. Bison attributes its descent into Chapter 11 to its expansion along the Interstate 35 corridor in 2005 and then into Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Ohio and New Mexico. When the housing market soured, Bison retrenched to its core Texas business in metro Houston and encountered trouble unwinding its ventures outside of Texas.