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Weyerhaeuser CEO Expects Housing Activity Improvement

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On the firm’s quarterly call, Weyerhaeuser Co. reported third quarter net earnings of $99 million, or $0.13 per diluted share on net sales of $1.7 billion. Excluding a net benefit of $40 million from special items, the REIT earned $59 million or $0.08 per diluted share. Adjusted EBITDA totaled $308 million.

According to Devin Stockfish, president and CEO, the REIT’s businesses continued to deliver strong operating performance, despite challenging market conditions.

“US housing activity continue to improve in the third quarter led by stronger activity in the important single-family segment. Single-family permits and starts have now increased for five months in succession. Additionally, seasonally adjusted single-family starts exceeded 900,000 units in back-to-back months in August and September, which we haven’t seen since 2007. Total US housing starts have also strengthened, totaling $1.28 million in the third quarter, compared with $1.26 million in the second quarter and $1.21 million in the first,” he said on the call.

“As we look forward, many indicators point to continued improvement in housing activity. Wage growth remains solid and the unemployment rate is at a 50-year low. Mortgage rates are hovering near 3.5%, significantly lower than late 2018.”

As for consumer confidence, he said that surveys indicate a positive view of current and future conditions. “Homebuilder sentiment has increased for four straight months and sits at the highest level, since February 2018. And builders continue to shift more product to serve the significant demand for affordable housing. That said, several supply side headwinds for housing remain. Builders continue to face a series of challenges, including labor and lot availability and regulatory burdens, as they seek to bring affordable housing to market.”