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On Feb. 4, 2009,

Universal Forest Products

(UFPI) - Get Report

, which produces wood products used in the homebuilding industry, reported that its net loss narrowed during Q4 FY08. Net loss shrank to $793,000 or $0.04 per share from $10.98 million or $0.58 per share. The most recent consensus estimate was a net loss of $0.22 per share.

During Q4 FY08, revenue dropped 17.4% year-over-year to $423.65 million from $512.64 million, hit by a decline in lumber prices. Market-wise, Do-It-Yourself/Retail sales slipped 8.0% to $151.78 million from $165.00 million as weak economy hurt consumer confidence and spending. Additionally, Industrial sales descended 9.5% to $124.20 million from $137.24 million, battered by a drop in sales to existing customers and slowdown in the U.S. manufacturing output. Furthermore, site-built construction sales slumped 28.8% to $93.42 million from $131.12 million, as single-family housing starts during the quarter declined 41.0%, while, multifamily starts fell 9.0%. In addition, manufactured housing sales dived 34.1% to $57.81 million from $87.74 million, due to a downfall in shipments of HUD-code homes. Finally, UFPI's quarter-to-date composite lumber price was 15.0% lower.

UFPI paid a semiannual dividend of $0.06 per share. Effective Jan. 1, 2009, Pat Webster, President of Universal Western Division and a 24-year veteran of the company, took over as the President and Chief Operating Officer.

For FY08, UFPI's net earnings plummeted 79.4% to $4.34 million or $0.23 per share from $21.05 million or $1.09 per share in FY07. Moreover, in FY08, the company's revenue declined 11.2% to $2.23 billion from $2.51 billion in FY07.

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