Plum Creek Timber Company, Inc. (NYSE: PCL) today announced third quarter earnings of $72 million, or $0.44 per diluted share, on revenues of $366 million. Third quarter earnings include a $4 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, non-cash expense related to fire losses experienced in Montana and Oregon during the quarter. Earnings for the third quarter of 2012 were $59 million, or $0.36 per diluted share, on revenues of $354 million.
Earnings for the first nine months of 2013 were $174 million, or $1.06 per diluted share, on revenues of $1.0 billion. Earnings for the first nine months of 2012 were $124 million, or $0.76 per diluted share, on revenues of $985 million.
Adjusted EBITDA, a non-GAAP measure of operating performance, for the first nine months of 2013 was $384 million, compared to $380 million for the same period of 2012. The company ended the quarter with $439 million in cash and cash equivalents. A reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA to net income and cash flow from operations is provided as an attachment to this release.
“We had a very good quarter reporting earnings above the high end of our guidance range despite the two cent fire related charge,” said Rick Holley, Plum Creek’s chief executive officer. “Each business segment performed well. Northern timber markets remain strong and Southern timber markets continue to improve slowly. Our Manufacturing segment posted another strong performance and our Real Estate segment is seeing improving market conditions in some regions. We expect fairly stable business conditions during the fourth quarter and are looking forward to continued improvement in timber markets during 2014.”
Review of Operations
The Northern Resources segment reported $5 million of operating income during the third quarter that includes the impact of the $4 million non-cash fire loss. Approximately 12,000 acres of company lands in Montana and Oregon were damaged by wildfires during the quarter. Segment operating income for the same period of 2012 was $5 million. Strengthening demand for sawlogs has led to higher prices over the past year. Average sawlog prices increased more than 14 percent as domestic sawmills competed with strong export demand on the West Coast. Average pulpwood prices in the Northern Resources segment were up modestly, $1 per ton. As planned, the harvest volume of one million tons was approximately 9 percent lower than the same period of 2012.