NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of Louisiana-Pacific ( LPX) have traded down as much as 4% following the release of the company's fiscal first-quarter earnings report, although they've since rebounded a bit.Although I didn't give the home-building giant a glowing endorsement due to management's downbeat outlook following LPX's fourth-quarter report, I'm nonetheless surprised by the Street's reaction to what was actually a better-than-expected quarter. Revenue surged 49% year over year to $538 million, while also advancing 17% sequentially. It's hard to be disappointed by these numbers. In fact, in my earnings-preview article where I discussed LPX's performance expectations when compared to Weyerhaeuser ( WY), I said the following: Weyerhaeuser just posted strong first-quarter results, which included revenue growth of 31%, following 25% revenue growth in the fourth quarter. Louisiana-Pacific should (at least) post revenue growth in the mid-to-high 40% area. Relative to Weyerhaeuser, anything less than 40% sales growth would be a disappointment.
Clearly, management deserves credit here, while at the same time this affirms my prior belief that perhaps management underestimated the strength of the housing recovery or, for that matter, their own talent. In that regard, Louisiana-Pacific's CEO, Curt Stevens said: "LP's strong financial results were driven by a broad recovery of building activity across all regions of the U.S., which led to improved demand for our products and increased
That said, it remains a challenge to value Louisiana-Pacific from an investment point of view. Given how quickly the company was able to reverse a $11 million loss from the a year ago and the six-point sequential jump in gross margin, this is a company that is picking up momentum even as it appears the stock has lost steam. On the basis of the first-quarter performance, this stock is worth at least 20% higher than current value. Investors who are looking for a great way to play the housing recovery should consider Louisiana-Pacific. At the time of publication, the author held no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Follow @saintssense This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.