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Boise Cascade Swings to Profit

Boise Cascade (BCC) swung to a second-quarter profit, but still fell short of analysts' estimates.

The Boise, Idaho-based company said net income was $50.4 million, or 52 cents a share, compared with a loss of $3.9 million, or 12 cents a share a year earlier. The latest quarter was helped by a pretax gain of $46.5 million, or 31 cents a share, from the sale of a 47% interest in Voyager Panel.

Excluding the gain, the company earned $22 million, or 21 cents a share, in the latest quarter. Analysts had expected the company to earn 30 cents a share in the quarter.

Sales for the company rose 76% to $3.4 billion from $1.93 billion, due largely to the company's late 2003 acquisition of OfficeMax.

Boise's building solutions unit drove much of the turnaround, as operating income excluding the Voyager sale rose to $80.2 million from $9.8 million a year ago. Average plywood prices increased 60% from a year ago, and average lumber prices rose 42%.

The company said it expects two of its three businesses to show improved results in the third quarter. Sales and income in Boise's office products business typically strengthen significantly from second-quarter levels and should again this year, the company said.

In Boise's paper business, gradually strengthening uncoated free sheet, containerboard, and newsprint markets should lead to improved results in the third quarter, while operating income in the building solutions unit is likely to decline in the third quarter, reflecting the weakening in product prices at the end of the second quarter.

Shares of Boise Cascade were recently down 43 cents, or 1.2%, to $34.27.

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