Fourth Quarter Debt Issue
As previously announced, during the fourth quarter the company issued $325 million of 3.25% senior unsecured notes due 2023.
Lumber, plywood, and OSB customers are anticipating continued demand growth in 2013 as residential construction activity continues to recover and housing starts approach 1 million units for the first time since 2007. As sawlog customers increase production to meet this demand growth, the company expects sawlog prices to improve. Pulpwood demand from pulp and paper mills throughout the nation remains very good and recovering demand from OSB producers and emerging demand from wood pellet producers are expected to result in improved pulpwood prices in the South and continued attractive prices in the North.
The company plans to harvest between 17.5 and 18.0 million tons of timber this year, similar to 2012’s 17.9 million ton harvest. While the total harvest volume is expected to be largely unchanged, the company expects to shift the mix of its harvest during 2013 as sawlog demand and pricing improves.
Improving consumer confidence and continued interest in hard asset investments is expected to provide a solid foundation for rural real estate activity, particularly in the Gulf South and Lake State regions. Real Estate segment sales for the year are expected to be between $250 million and $300 million with land basis expense between 30 and 35 percent of sales. First quarter sales are expected to be between $80 and $85 million.
Lumber, specialty plywood and MDF markets are expected to remain strong and grow further in the coming year. As a result, Manufacturing segment results are expected to continue to improve in 2013.
Third-party interest expense in 2013 is expected to be approximately $80 million; about $2 million lower than 2012’s expense.
Reflecting all of these factors, the company expects 2013 income to be between $1.25 and $1.50 per share. The company expects to report first quarter income between $0.28 and $0.33 per share.