Pope Resources (NASDAQ:POPE) reported net income attributable to unitholders of $1.2 million, or $0.27 per diluted ownership unit, on revenue of $8.8 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2012. This compares to net income attributable to unitholders of $3.7 million, or $0.82 per diluted ownership unit, on revenue of $17.7 million for the comparable period in 2011.
Cash provided by operations for the quarter ended March 31, 2012, was $2.0 million, compared to $7.6 million for the first quarter of 2011.
“In the face of weaker log export demand from China, we significantly reduced our harvest volume in the first quarter of 2012,” said David L. Nunes, President and CEO. “With stronger log export demand from China last year, we aggressively front-loaded our planned harvest in 2011, but were much more restrained in our log production in the first quarter of 2012. The combination of continued weakness in domestic housing starts and softer log export demand resulted in a decision to concentrate more of our planned 2012 harvest volume later in the year.”
Fee Timber operating income for the first quarter of 2012 was $3.2 million, compared to $7.1 million for the first quarter of 2011. This 55% drop in segment operating income was due almost entirely to a 52% decrease in harvest volume, which declined from 30 million board feet (MMBF) in the first quarter of 2011 to 15 MMBF in the comparable 2012 period. In many years, our first quarter log production has been relatively strong as we have front-loaded our annual harvest to take advantage of our high proportion of low elevation timberlands that allow for winter logging. In 2011, this capability allowed us to respond quickly to strong demand from China. However, in 2012, the China market was plagued with high inventory levels, so we chose not to start the year on an accelerated basis.
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