Shares of Georgia-Pacific ( GP) were moving higher Wednesday after the company said it expects first-quarter earnings to come in ahead of analysts' estimates, citing solid results from its building products business.

The company forecast earnings of 60 cents a share, compared with the 48 cents a share expected from analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call. Georgia-Pacific's guidance excludes $26 million, or 6 cents a share, from early extinguishment of debt expenses.

"Results in our building products businesses remained exceptionally strong during the first quarter," said the company in a statement. In the first quarter, lumber and panel prices have risen quickly.

Shares of the company were lately up 62 cents, or 1.8%, at $34.74, just under the 52-week high of $34.94 reached Tuesday.

Two brokerages upped their earnings estimates on the company on the news. J.P. Morgan called the guidance "modestly positive," saying Wall Street was already expecting higher first-quarter results from the company.

"News flow surrounding the stock has been increasingly positive in recent weeks, owing to record-level structural panel prices and reports of price increases on retail and away-from-home tissue, as well as recent asset sales," the brokerage wrote in a research note.

J.P. Morgan increased its first-quarter estimate to 60 cents from 50 cents a share, and boosted fiscal 2005 estimates to $2.20 a share from $2.05 a share.

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