Before we begin, I'd like to take this time to remind everyone that certain of our statements today will be forward looking, involving known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or performance to differ from those expressed or implied. These risks and factors are routinely detailed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Following today's prepared remarks, we'll open up the call for your questions.Now I'll turn the call over to Rick. Rick R. Holley Good afternoon. Plum Creek performed well in the first quarter. We took advantage of attractive pulpwood markets in the U.S. South and began harvesting our recently acquired timber deed in the Gulf South region. Our manufacturing segment continued to perform well with improving demand for panels and lumber. Performance in our timber business was generally as we expected, although pulpwood prices were better than we initially thought and sawlog prices a bit weaker. Timing differences in sales from our Real Estate segment led us to the shortfall of our initial expectations for the quarter. This will resolve itself over the course of the year, so our outlook for the year with respect to both earnings and real estate sales remains unchanged. We believe there's good case to be made for a long-term growth of wood products exports from the United States. Thanks to a combination of globally-priced competitive softwood fiber and growing demand in emerging markets. The impact of Chinese demand on West Coast markets has been meaningful over the last 2 years. We have always experienced and continue to expect significant short-term variation in Chinese demand from one period to the next. However, we believe that their economies' continued growth will require a long-term presence in North American timber and lumber markets to meet their economies' needs.
We continue to work to facilitate the development of export markets for both sawlogs and biomass, which will go to Western Europe, China, India and Turkey. Our goal is to bring this incremental demand to the geographic markets where we have a presence.During the first quarter, we exported approximately 55,000 tons to China from Oregon, 30,000 tons to Turkey from the U.S. South. We believe that in 2012, we can grow our export sawlog business to 300,000 tons or more, roughly a 50% increase from 2011 levels. We continue to actively manage our timberland portfolio. Late in the first quarter, we completed a large non-strategic timberland sale of approximately $84 million. The property sold consisted of 70,000 acres of Southern timberlands located primarily in the Florida panhandle. The price of over -- just over $1,200 per acre is a good value for these lands and reflects the young age of the forest, the local timber market and a higher proportion of hardwood lands when compared to Plum Creek's typical southern forest. We continue to evaluate timberlands for both purchase and sale. During the quarter, we capped the bank markets to refinance our revolving credit agreement, and we replaced the maturing term loan agreement. As you can see from our press release, both financings were priced very attractively. The 5-year revolving credit agreement at LIBOR plus 1.25%, and the 7-year term loan priced an effective net interest cost of LIBOR plus 1%. With these refinancings complete, we have a well-laddered debt maturity schedule at very attractive rates. Our balance sheet is in great shape, and we have excellent liquidity. Now David will talk about the quarter and our outlook for you. David W. Lambert Thank you, Rick. Our first quarter results of $0.18 were about $0.05 below the midpoint of our guidance range, while the reduction is attributable to the timing of sales from our Real Estate segment. We closed on $100 million of sales during the quarter rather than the $120 million as we initially expected. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com