Housing Slump Hurts Weyerhaeuser's Profit

Weyerhaeuser posted a fourth-quarter loss Friday as its wood products business was hurt by the slump in the U.S. housing market, though adjusted earnings still beat Wall Street expectations.

Excluding items, the company reported earnings of 42 cents a share, down from 95 cents a year-ago, but above Wall Street's estimate of 35 cents a share.

Revenues slid 18 percent to $3.94 billion on declining sales from its wood products and timberlands business.

Analysts, on average had looked for revenues of $4.12 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

The company posted a quarterly net loss of $63 million, or 30 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $507 million, or $2.12 a share, that included a refund of duties.

"Despite difficult market conditions, which we expect to continue through 2008, Weyerhaeuser remains focused on managing through the downturn and positioning the company to take full advantage of stronger markets once conditions improve," said Chief Executive Steven Rogel, in a statement.

Shares of Weyerhaeuser have fallen about 12 percent over the last three months, compared with an 11 percent decline in the Standard & Poor's Paper and Forest Products Index.