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Pope Resources Reports Third Quarter Loss Of $562,000

Pope Resources (NASDAQ:POPE) reported a net loss attributable to unitholders of $562,000, or $0.14 per diluted ownership unit, on revenue of $7.5 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2011. This compares to net income attributable to unitholders of $1.1 million, or $0.22 per diluted ownership unit, on revenue of $8.6 million for the comparable period in 2010.

Net income for the nine months ended September 30, 2011 totaled $6.4 million, or $1.42 per diluted ownership unit, on revenue of $39.5 million. Net income for the corresponding period in 2010 totaled $375,000, or $0.07 per diluted ownership unit, on revenue of $22.6 million.

Cash provided by operations for the quarter ended September 30, 2011 was $603,000, compared to $4.2 million for the third quarter of 2010. For the nine months ended September 30, 2011, cash provided by operations was $14.3 million, compared to $5.3 million for year-to-date 2010 results.

“In response to surging demand for Pacific Northwest logs from China, we made a conscious decision earlier this year to front-load our annual harvest volume into the first two quarters of the year to take advantage of the all-season operability of some of our low elevation timberlands,” said David L. Nunes, President and CEO. “Anticipating that log prices might soften as more timber came available from higher elevation lands during the summer months, we ratcheted back our third quarter harvest volume. As a result, we generated less revenue and recorded a net loss for the quarter.”

As our timber fund business has grown, harvests from timber fund properties naturally represent a higher proportion of our overall harvest volume. Through the first nine months of the year, timber fund properties represented 40% of the total harvest volume compared to only 15% in 2010. Our timber fund properties also carry a higher proportion of inventory in whitewood species than is the case with the Partnership’s properties. As such, the overall species mix for the nine-month periods ended September 30 changed from 73% Douglas-fir and 8% whitewoods for 2010 to 58% Douglas-fir and 23% whitewoods for 2011. Typically, a heavier mix of whitewoods would result in lower average log realizations, but the strong log demand from China that was largely indifferent as to species counteracted this expected price-dampening effect.

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