Deltic Timber Corporation (NYSE:DEL):
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Commenting on the results, Mr. Dillon stated, “Despite the continued weak markets for dimension lumber and residential real estate caused by the low level of housing starts and excess single family homes for sale in the United States, Deltic’s excellent portfolio of assets produced both positive net income and respectable cash flows for yet another year. We did not sell all of the hardwood bottomland acreage planned for 2011, as we kept this sales activity at the level the market would absorb, while maintaining the average sales price received per acre. Having our Mills segment generate positive operating income in this lumber market environment was quite an accomplishment. The slight loss for the fourth quarter was largely the result of timing. Good logging conditions existed for much of the year and allowed us to complete a large percentage of our annual timber harvest in the first three quarters of the year, and we closed on the sale of a significant commercial real estate site back in the second quarter.”The Woodlands segment reported operating income of $4 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to $7.9 million for the same period of 2010. The pine sawtimber harvest during the fourth quarter period was 83,246 tons, a 38 percent decrease when compared to a harvest of 134,602 tons for the same period of last year. This decrease in harvest volume was due to timing, as unusually dry logging conditions in Deltic’s operating areas earlier in the year enabled the Company to accomplish a large percentage of its planned annual harvest for 2011 in the first three quarters of the year. The average per-ton sales price for pine sawtimber was $21 in the fourth quarter of 2011, which compares to $28 per-ton for the same period of 2010. The decrease was due to lower demand from sawmills in the Company’s operating area, as they reduced production to meet market demands. During the fourth quarter of 2011, Deltic harvested 92,934 tons of pine pulpwood at an average price of $8 per ton, compared to 94,365 tons harvested at an average price of $9 per ton for the same period of 2010. Oil and gas revenues from lease rentals and net royalties were $1.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2011 versus $1.4 million in 2010’s fourth quarter. Deltic sold approximately 1,125 acres of recreational-use hardwood bottomlands for an average sales price of $1,500 per acre in the fourth quarter of 2011 versus 2,939 acres sold at an average sales price of $1,500 per acre for the same period of 2010, as the Company reduced sales volume to the level of market demand.
The Mills segment reported $.6 million in operating income in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to an operating loss of $1.1 million during 2010’s fourth quarter. The improvement was primarily due to a lower cost for the logs used to manufacture lumber, resulting from the decreased average sales price for pine sawtimber stumpage in Deltic’s operating region. The average lumber sales price was $253 per thousand board feet for the fourth quarter of 2011, which was a three percent increase when compared to $245 per thousand board feet for the same period one year ago. The lumber sales volume was 59.1 million board feet in 2011’s fourth quarter, a 13 percent decrease when compared to 2010’s fourth quarter sales volume of 68.2 million board feet. The Company reduced lumber production to match demand during the fourth quarter of 2011.The Company’s Real Estate segment had operating income of $.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to an operating loss of $.6 million for the same period of 2010. The Company sold 1.38 acres of commercial property for $411,600 per acre during the current year’s fourth quarter, while there were no sales of commercial real estate acreage during the prior year’s fourth quarter. Residential lot sales totaled nine lots in 2011’s fourth quarter, a decrease of six lots when compared to the corresponding quarter of 2010. The current quarter’s average sales price was $58,700 per lot, which compares to $68,900 per lot for 2010’s fourth quarter. The reduced average sales price per-lot was due to the mix of lots sold, as the Company has not reduced lot prices. Corporate operating expense was $3.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2011, which compares to $4.4 million for the same period of 2010. The decrease was primarily due to lower general and administrative expenses, mainly employee incentive plan expenses. Deltic’s equity in the results of Del-Tin Fiber was a loss of $.6 million for the current year quarter versus earnings of $.4 million for the same period in 2010. During the fourth quarter of 2011, Del-Tin Fiber continued to experience higher resin glue costs and a weaker market for medium density fiberboard when compared to the same period of 2010. Deltic recorded an income tax benefit of $.2 million in the current year quarter compared to income tax expense of $.2 million in the corresponding quarter of 2010. The income tax rate for the fourth quarter of 2011 benefitted from the impact of certain permanent tax differences relative to the amount of pretax financial results for the quarter, while the same period of 2010 benefitted from the impact of recording a discrete tax item.
Capital expenditures were $5.4 million for 2011’s fourth quarter and $15.7 million for the year of 2011. For the corresponding periods of 2010, capital expenditures totaled $6.8 million and $15.6 million, respectively.For the year of 2011, the pine sawtimber harvest was 606,311 tons compared to 609,867 tons for 2010. The average pine sawtimber sales price for 2011 decreased $4 per ton from that of 2010, to $23 per ton. Sales of non-strategic timberland for the year of 2011 totaled 2,726 acres with an average sales price of $1,500 per acre, while in 2010, the Company sold 4,061 acres with a per-acre sales price of $1,600. Oil and gas lease rental and royalty income was $6.4 million in 2011 versus $5.7 million in 2010. Lumber sales volume decreased six percent from 270.8 million board feet in 2010 to 254.3 million board feet in 2011. The average finished lumber sales price decreased $36 per thousand board feet, to $254 per thousand board feet in 2011. Residential lot sales for the current year totaled 31 lots at an average price of $63,500 per lot versus sales of 28 lots in 2010 at $81,400 per lot. Deltic sold 27.36 acres of commercial real estate at $116,700 per acre in 2011, which compares to a sale of 19 acres for $334,000 per acre in 2010. Equity in earnings of Del-Tin Fiber was $.3 million in 2011, while 2010’s equity in earnings was $4.1 million. Regarding the outlook for the first quarter and year of 2012, Mr. Dillon stated, “We currently anticipate the pine sawtimber harvest to be 140,000 to 160,000 tons and 550,000 to 600,000 tons, respectively. Finished lumber sales are estimated to be 50 to 70 million board feet for the first quarter and 250 to 275 million board feet for the year, but these volumes are dependent upon market conditions. Residential lot sales are projected at three to six lots and 15 to 25 lots for the first quarter and year of 2012, respectively. Commercial acreage within Chenal Valley continues to receive interest, but due to the volatile nature of commercial real estate transactions and the significant number of factors involved, it is difficult to anticipate future closings.”
Statements included herein that are not historical in nature are intended to be, and are hereby identified as, “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Federal Securities Laws. Such statements reflect the Company’s current expectations and involve certain risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from those included in such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause such differences include, but are not limited to, the cyclical nature of the industry, changes in interest rates, credit availability, general economic conditions, adverse weather, cost and availability of materials used to manufacture the Company’s products, and the other risk factors described from time to time in the reports and disclosure documents filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.Deltic will hold a conference call on Thursday, February 23, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. Central Time to discuss fourth quarter and year of 2011 earnings. Interested parties may participate in the call by dialing 1-800-510-9834 and referencing participant passcode identification number 21940441. The call will also be broadcast live over the Internet and can be accessed through the Investor Relations section of the Deltic website, at www.deltic.com . Online replays of the call will be available through the Deltic website, and a recording of the call will be available until Friday, March 2, 2012, by dialing 1-888-286-8010 and referencing replay passcode identification number 71273769.