A discussion of factors that may affect future results is provided in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. BlueLinx undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements contained in these presentations based on new information or otherwise, except as required by law. With that requirement completed, I’d like to remind our listeners that we have posted slides on our website. We will be referring to these slides during this call and we encourage you to view them during our remarks. Additionally, the slide package contains an appendix of supplementary tables available for your review.Now, let me turn the call over to our Chief Financial Officer, Doug Goforth. Doug Goforth Thank you, Maryon. I will start with the discussion of fourth quarter and full year financial results, then George will provide some additional commentary and closed with the final perspective. BlueLinx’s financial performance for the fourth quarter of 2011 improved compared to a year ago as we continue to make strides growing our Specialty Products business. Although the housing market and overall economy remained very challenging, we did experience small improvements in business demand in certain markets during the quarter. For the fourth quarter actual US single family housing starts were up 2.4% compared to the fourth quarter of 2010, the first rise in single family starts this year. Actual total U.S. housing starts increased 22.6% for the fourth quarter 2011 compared to the same period last year. Against this backdrop we worked hard to achieve our objectives continuing to cultivate new customers and strengthen supplier relationships. We focused on profitable long-term relationships and profitable transactions. And as we have said before we continue to use this environment to invest in people, processes and program improvement that will help ensure our success as we move forward in 2012 and beyond. Last, but certainly not least, we continue to aggressively manage cost and working capital.
Today, we reported a GAAP net loss of $10.3 million or $0.17 per deluded share on revenue of $391.1 million. That compares to a GAAP net loss of $20.2 million or $0.66 per diluted share on revenue of $367.9 million in the fourth quarter of last year.Now, let’s review the results in more detail. For those of you following along with the slides posted on the investor relations section of the BlueLinx website, I will begin with slide 5. Overall sales for the fourth quarter in the December 31 totaled $391.1 million up 6.3% or approximately $23 million from the fourth quarter 2010. Both Specialty and Structural product groups experienced increases in unit volumes and product selling prices for the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to the year ago period. With BlueLinx’s end-use market is more closely tied to single family housing we believe the 6.3% increase in revenue for the quarter driven by our specialty products growth represents expanded market share. Specialty sale increased 8.7% year over year reflecting a 6.6% increase in unit volume and a 2.1% increase in product selling prices. Both warehouse and direct channel business experienced strong growth for the quarter. Structural products sale increased 7% from the same period last year. This increase was driven by 2.8% increase in volume, and 4.2% year-over-year increase in product selling prices. Specialty products comprised 59% of total sales consistent with the third quarter of 2010. Overall our unit volume rose 5% compared to the year ago period. BlueLinx’s generated approximately $48 million in gross profit for the quarter, which is $3.6 million increase over the same period last year. Overall gross margin was 12.3% for the quarter, up from 12.1% in the same period last year, and reflects our ongoing initiative to increase margins across all product categories combined with increases in underlying product prices.
Structural margins of 9.3% were down slightly compared to the prior year quarter with margins were 9.5%. We benefitted some less from the selling prices for key grades of wood-based structural products during the quarter. Average fourth quarter 2011 benchmark wood-based structural prices were up approximately 1.5% compared to the fourth quarter of 2010.Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com