Weyerhaeuser 3Q profit sinks 25 percent

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. -- Weyerhaeuser Co.'s third quarter earnings plunged 25 percent compared to last year, when the lumber and real estate company recorded income from a couple businesses it has since sold and a hefty tax gain.

But the company's revenue rose, and CEO Dan Fulton said Weyerhaeuser was "capitalizing on an improving housing market."

The Federal Way, Wash., company said Friday it earned $117 million, or 22 cents per share, in the three months that ended Sept. 30. That compares to earnings of $157 million, or $29 cents per share, in last year's quarter.

Revenue climbed 13 percent to $1.77 billion.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected, on average, earnings of 18 cents per share on $1.79 billion in revenue.

Weyerhaeuser said last year's results included $24 million in earnings from businesses that were sold last year's third quarter. The company also recorded a $104 million income tax gain in last year's third quarter, as opposed to a $13 million charge in this year's quarter.

Weyerhaeuser also said revenue from its cellulose fibers business fell 9 percent this year to $459 million, but that was more than countered by wood products revenue that climbed 35 percent to $816 million.

Several expenses also rose in this year's quarter for Weyerhaeuser. The company's costs to produce its products climbed 11 percent to $1.42 billion, and its selling, general and administrative expenses rose 16 percent to $156 million.

Earlier this month, the company said it will raise its dividend 13 percent, or 2 cents, to 17 cents.