Building materials supplier Texas Industries Inc on Thursday posted a quarterly profit, reversing a year-earlier loss, as prices and shipments of steel increased. The Dallas-based supplier of cement and structural steel, whose shares closed up more than 4 per cent, posted net income for the third quarter ended of US$20.9m, or 92 cents a share, compared with a loss of $17m, or 81 cents, a year earlier. The latest results included a gain of US$20.5m from the sale of brick plants. Overall sales came to US$408M as steel sales rose about 62 per cent. "Steel margins are beginning to recover despite unprecedented increases in raw material costs," Chief Executive Robert Rogers said in a news release. Cement sales were up 12 per cent, as operating profit excluding the gain from the sale of the brick factories rose to US$13.5m from US$6.7m a year earlier.