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Rayonier Profits Boosted by Asset Sale

Fourth-quarter profits tripled.


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said its fourth-quarter profits tripled to $56.4 million, or 73 cents a share. The profits included a special item gain of $30.5 million, or 39 cents a share, on the sale of its New Zealand timber assets.

Income from continued operations after adjustments stood at 34 cents a share compared to 18 cents a share for the corresponding quarter of the previous year. The Wall Street estimate for the fourth quarter of 2005 was 35 cents a share.

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Fourth-quarter revenue for the forest products company, which is organized as a real estate investment trust, increased 10.8% to $316 million compared to the corresponding period a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson financial had estimated sales of $304 million for the fourth quarter of 2005.

Lee Nutter, chairman, president and CEO, said, "Entering 2006, we have well-positioned core businesses and continue to experience strong demand and pricing for most of our products, particularly real estate properties and our premium cellulose specialties. As a result, excluding special items, we expect another very good year with full-year earnings somewhat above 2005, despite a first quarter that will be below fourth quarter 2005, primarily due to the timing of real estate transactions."

Rayonier said that its earnings improved compared to fourth quarter 2004, primarily due to increased timber prices and real estate sales.

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