Boise Cascade ( BCC) predicted much better-than-expected earnings Wednesday, saying third-quarter sales of building materials were sharply higher than in the second quarter. The Idaho-based wood and paper company expects to earn 40 cents to 44 cents a share in the quarter ended Sept. 30, well above the consensus analyst forecast of 29 cents a share, as compiled by Thomson First Call. Besides reporting strength in building products, the company said it had higher sales in its office solutions equipment over the second quarter. Boise Cascade said market conditions remained "sluggish" in its paper business, with lower average prices offset by higher unit sales and lower costs. In the fourth quarter, the company said it expects same-store sales to remain positive in its office solutions division, while results in building products are likely to "weaken seasonally." It expects market conditions to remain lackluster in the paper segment. The shares recently crossed at $28.88 on Island, up from their Tuesday close of $27.61.