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With me today to discuss our results and our outlook are Jim Metcalf, President and CEO; and Rick Fleming, Executive Vice President and CFO. Jim will provide a general overview of the quarter plus additional insights in some of our businesses. Rick will review the financial results for the quarter, the corporation and the business segments. We will then open up the call for questions and conclude with a few comments from Jim. Jim?James S. Metcalf Thank you, Brian, and good morning. Thank you for joining us today, and we appreciate your interest in USG. As we position for success, what I'd like to say about our company is USG provides shelter. It's where our customers live, work and play. We are not a company that solely relies on housing, which is currently less than 25% of our portfolio. We are not just a wallboard manufacturer, even though it currently casts a very long shadow on our business. USG's portfolio of surfaces, substrates, ceilings and distribution add diversity to our leading wallboard foundation. These industry-leading businesses position USG as a solution provider in building products. As we look at our current environment, the recovery in the U.S. economy continues to be fragile. For the most part, our key markets continue to experience recessionary levels that are at/or near record lows. Outside the United States, our markets have stronger demand. Some of our international markets, like western Europe, have slowed as well. While we are expecting a recovery, we are not waiting for it to happen. We need to successfully operate USG within the current market demand levels. We need to continue to lower our breakeven, with a very sharp focus on profitability. To accomplish our objective of profitability and our right aspiration of a more diverse company, we have established 3 strategic priorities: strengthening our core businesses, which is North American manufacturing and distribution; diversifying our earnings; and differentiating through innovation. What I'd like to do is touch on each one of these.
First, strengthening our core. This is a key strategy and has been our major focus over the last few years, in fact we've been spending most of our time, and we continue to do it, on strengthening the core of our business. If you step back from all the facts and figures, we have 2 areas that we need to improve: wallboard gross profit; and L&W profitability, which are 2 very large areas we are extremely focused, and they provide a tremendous upside leverage for the company.We have initiatives in both areas to continue improvement, such as our launch of SHEETROCK UltraLight Panels and major structural changes in L&W, which has resulted in 6 consecutive quarters of improved results. Innovation at USG is a core value, and differentiation from competition is vital, particularly in this very challenging market. We continue to have a leadership position providing our customers with very exciting new products. Most recently, we created an entirely new product category, lightweight wallboard. SHEETROCK Brand UltraLight Panels were the first lightweight product to hit the market, now in the over 2,300 locations. Over the last month, the most exciting news that we have is the introduction of lightweight wallboard for the commercial contractors. We've expanded the product family to include 2 fire-rated lightweight wallboard products targeted at the commercial market. Our 5/8 FIRECODE 30 and our 5/8 FIRECODE Type X will provide increased productivity in large commercial projects where labor rates and efficiency are vital to our commercial contractors. With all the necessary UL certifications, these products, again, differentiate USG in the market. But we are going to continue to invest in innovation. We are currently exploring methods to expand our lightweight technology to other product lines. And we are actively developing new environmentally-friendly technologies for our products and our manufacturing processes. Our goal is to significantly reduce energy in manufacturing and meet our customer's demand for greener, more sustainable products with continued cost efficiencies. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com