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Costs on the Hoof at ElkCorp

The roofer hits first-quarter targets but warns that raw material prices are rising.
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posted a solid first quarter but warned of a second-quarter shortfall as raw-material and energy costs rise.

The Dallas-based roofing products company earned $10.5 million, or 51 cents a share, up from the year-ago continuing operations profit of $7.7 million, or 38 cents a share. Revenue rose 32% from a year ago to $216 million.

Premium roofing product volume rose 25%, driving a 32% revenue gain in the segment. Operating margin in the segment rose to 14.2% from 12% a year earlier, as price increases in June and September offset rising raw material and transport costs.

But the composite building products unit posted a $4 million operating loss even as sales rose 70% to $5 million. The segment was hit by an inventory writedown and plant expansion costs.

"We are pleased with our first quarter results," said CEO Thomas Karol. "We continue to experience strong demand for our roofing products throughout the country, particularly in areas affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita as well as the residual demand from last year's storms in Florida."

ElkCorp expects earnings for the second quarter to be in the range of 50 to 53 cents a diluted share, and the company warned that asphalt, polypropylene and transport costs remain "volatile and uncertain." The company said it would try to raise prices but said it expects to see some margin erosion as a result of the lag between cost increases and price hikes. Elk forecast full-year earnings of $2.25 to $2.40 per diluted share for fiscal 2006 ending in June.

Analysts were expecting earnings of 58 cents a share for the second quarter and $2.35 for the year.

On Friday, Elk rose 18 cents to $32.39.