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Weyerhaeuser Swings To A Profit, Helped By Refund Of Duties

Weyerhaeuser swung to a fourth-quarter profit, helped by a refund of $227 million in countervailing and anti-dumping duties on Canadian softwood lumber sold in the U.S.

The Federal Way, Wash., forest products company said earnings for the quarter ended Dec. 31 were $450 million, or $1.88 a share, compared with a loss of $211 million, or 86 cents a share, a year earlier.

The company said its earnings from continuing operations of $1.67 a share, excluding one-time items, Weyerhaeuser earned 74 cents a share -- a penny below Thomson Finanical's consensus of analysts' estimates. In the year-ago period, the company lost 98 cents a share. Excluding one-time items, Weyerhaeuser posted a profit of 94 cents a share.

Revenue fell 1.1% to $5.66 billion from $5.72 billion a year ago, but came in above analysts' expectations of $5.36 billion.

In addition, the company said it expects first-quarter earnings for its timberlands unit will be slightly lower than in the fourth quarter. Significant losses also are expected in its wood products unit in the first quarter.