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Weyerhaeuser’s 4Q Profits Fall 27 Percent

January 23, 2004

SEATTLE (AP) _ Profits at timber giant Weyerhaeuser Co. fell 27 percent in the fourth quarter, as the company took a series of one-time charges and recorded a big one-time gain on the sale of timberlands.

Federal Way, Wash.-based Weyerhaeuser said Friday it earned $92 million, or 41 cents per share, for the three-month period ended Dec. 28. That was down from earnings of $126 million, or 57 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue rose 9 percent to nearly $5.15 billion from revenues nearly $4.72 billion a year ago.

For the quarter, Weyerhaeuser took a charge of $29 million or 14 cents per share for closing some facilities. It took another charge of $17 million or 8 cents per share for restructuring. A third charge of $5 million or 2 cents per share was for settling litigation.

The company also reported a one-time gain of $40 million or 18 cents per share on the sale of timberlands.

In the year-earlier period, Weyerhaeuser also had taken a big one-time charge for restructuring and the termination of a pension plan, and had recorded a big gain for timberlands sales and other actions.

Without the one-time items, the company would have had earnings of 47 cents per share for the most recent quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 53 cents per share, with estimates ranging from 40 cents per share to 72 cents per share.

Shares in Weyerhaeuser were down $1.11, or 1.7 percent, to $65.48 in midmorning trading Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Weyerhaeuser chairman, president and chief executive Steve Rogel conceded that 2003 had been a difficult year, but he signaled that the company was optimistic about its performance for 2004.

``Weyerhaeuser is poised to take advantage of the improving economic conditions,″ he said in a conference call with analysts.

For the year, Weyerhaeuser earned $277 million, or $1.25 per share, on revenue of $19.87 billion. In 2002, it earned $241 million, or $1.09 per share, on revenue of $18.52 billion.


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