9 February 2007 — Federal Way (WA): Weyerhaeuser has reported net earnings of $395 million for 2006, or diluted EPS of $1.61, on net sales of $21.9 billion. This compares with net earnings of $733 million, or diluted EPS of $2.98 per diluted share, on net sales of $22 billion for 2005.
Q4 net earnings were $450 million, or diluted EPS of $1.88, on net sales of $5.7 billion. Last year, the company reported a Q4 net loss of $211 million, or diluted EPS of $0.86, on net sales of $5.7 billion.
The downturn in residential housing construction, combined with normal seasonal construction slowing in the fourth quarter, is believed by the company to have caused a significant reduction in demand and prices for wood products which led to lower earnings.
During the quarter, Weyerhaeuser also repurchased 5.5 million shares of common stock. As of the end of Q4, the firm has repurchased 11 million shares of the 18 million-share repurchase previously authorised by its board of directors.
Steven Rogel, chairman, president and CEO, said: "To focus our portfolio, we entered into an agreement to combine our fine paper business and related assets with Domtar and began the complex process of implementing this landmark transaction. As part of our growth strategy, we expanded our real estate business and increased our timberlands position in South America."
He continued: "We continue to improve our efficiency by implementing significant changes in how we manage our supply chains and continuing to migrate to a single information technology platform. While we haven’t finished our work on many of these efforts, and we may not see their full benefit for several quarters, our continued focus on these initiatives will benefit our shareholders despite challenging market conditions."