Eagle Materials Inc. Reports Third Quarter Results

Eagle Materials Inc. Reports Third Quarter Results
Published: 31 January 2008

Eagle Materials Inc. today reported financial results for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 ended December 31, 2007. Eagle produces and distributes Gypsum Wallboard, Cement, Recycled Paperboard and Concrete and Aggregates. The following are highlights of our third quarter results:

    -- RECORD HIGH THIRD QUARTER SALES VOLUME IN CEMENT -
       850,000 TONS SOLD DURING THE QUARTER
    -- RECORD HIGH QUARTERLY CEMENT AVERAGE NET SALES PRICE
    -- WALLBOARD NET SALES PRICE AVERAGED $100 PER THOUSAND SQUARE FEET DURING
       THE QUARTER, A 37% DECLINE
    -- CALLBOARD VOLUMES ONLY DECLINED 8% DURING THE QUARTER
    -- COMPLETED CONSTRUCTION OF NEW WALLBOARD PLANT IN GEORGETOWN, SOUTH
       CAROLINA AND COMMENCED START-UP
    -- REPURCHASED 1,088,900 SHARES OF OUR STOCK SINCE SEPTEMBER 30, 2007


For the quarter ended December 31, 2007, revenues and net earnings were $173.0 million and $22.4 million, respectively. Revenues decreased 19% from the prior year third quarter and net earnings decreased 45% from the same period. Diluted earnings per share for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 were $0.50 compared with $0.83 in the same period a year ago, a 40% decline.

Our cement operations continued to perform well, and Eagle set a record for third quarter cement operating earnings. Demand for cement in the U.S. remains approximately 20% greater than domestic supply, requiring high-priced imports to fill the shortfall. Price increases have been announced in all of our cement markets for April 2008.

Continued weak residential activity during the quarter put downward pressure on wallboard sales volumes and sales prices. Industry wallboard shipments for the quarter were down 12% compared to the prior year’s third quarter. However, the rate of decline in wallboard pricing slowed substantially during the last half of the quarter. Our wallboard net sales price averaged approximately $100 for the quarter.

Since September 30, 2007, Eagle has repurchased 1,088,900 shares of its stock, at an average purchase price of $31.99 per share; leaving 717,300 shares available under its current repurchase authorization.

Additionally, construction of our new wallboard plant in Georgetown, South Carolina was completed during the quarter. The start-up of the new wallboard plant has commenced, and we expect commercial sales to begin in February.

 CEMENT

Operating earnings from Cement increased 60% to $26.6 million for the third quarter this year from $16.6 million for the same quarter last year. Cement revenues, including joint venture and intersegment revenues, for the third quarter totaled $85.8 million, 10% greater than the $77.7 million for the same quarter a year ago. Cement sales volume for the third quarter totaled 850,000 tons, 9% above the 779,000 tons for the same quarter last year. Eagle was able to meet these increased market requirements with additional manufacturing production from our recently expanded Illinois Cement plant and by continuing to supplement our markets with lower margin purchased cement. Eagle’s purchased cement sales volumes for the quarter declined to approximately 173,000 tons, or 20% of total sales volume, versus approximately 241,000 tons in the prior year’s third quarter. The average net sales price for this fiscal year’s third quarter was the highest quarterly average net sales price in Eagle’s history and was 3% greater than the prior year’s third quarter. - PR Newswire