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Category Archives: Finance & Economics

Finance & Economics

Canadian home sales rise 12.6 per cent in July

By Ian Bickis
The Canadian Press
August 15, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada

Canadian home sales rose in July in broad gains as markets start to recover from the stress test tightening last year, although economists say global concerns raise some uncertainties for the future. The Canadian Real Estate Association said on Thursday that home sales rose 12.6 per cent in July from a year earlier, and were up 3.5 per cent seasonally adjusted from June.

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Louisiana Pacific Q2 Earnings miss estimates

Yahoo Finance
August 6, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

Louisiana-Pacific reported net sales of $588 million, missing the consensus mark of $642 million by 8.4%. The top line also fell 27.5% from $811 million reported a year ago. Lower OSB prices negatively impacted its performance. The reported earnings declined 52.2% from the year-ago.

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Lumber Is One Of The Few Industrial Markets That Rallies After The Fed Cuts Rates

By Andrew Hecht
Seeking Alpha
August 9, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

While most commodities prices moved lower last week, the price of lumber moved just under 10% higher between July 26 and August 2. …The bottom line is that falling US interest rates cause mortgage rates to decline and demand for new homes to increase. …I never trade the futures, but I have learned to appreciate the predictive value of lumber prices when it comes to long-term trend changes in the world of commodities.

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Cascades Announces Record Sales for the Second Quarter of 2019

By Cascades Inc.
Cision Newswire
August 8, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

Cascades Inc. reports its results for the three-month period ended June 30, 2019 . Q2 2019 Highlights Sales of $1,275 million (compared to $1,230 million in Q1 2019 and $1,180 million in Q2 2018. Operating income of $82 million (compared to $72 million in Q1 2019 and $73 million in Q2 2018.

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Interfor reports second quarter 2019 results

By Interfor Corporation
Globe Newswire
August 8, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

Interfor recorded a net loss in Q2’19 of $11.2 million compared to a net loss of $15.3 million in Q1’19 and net earnings of $63.7 million in Q2’18. Adjusted EBITDA was $12.6 million on sales of $481.3 million in Q2’19 versus $16.3 million on sales of $451.2 million in Q1’19. 

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North American lumber production down 4.6% through May

Random Lengths
August 7, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

North American lumber production was down 4.6% through the first five months of 2019 compared to the same period a year ago. …U.S. output totaled 14.647 bbf through May, down 1.1% from the first five months a year ago. Production in the West was down 1.6% to 6.067 bbf, while output in the South was down 0.7% to 7.892 bbf. Canadian production totaled 10.829 bbf through May, down 9.0%. Output in B.C. dropped 16.5% to 4.503 bbf, while production East of the Rockies fell 2.7% to 6.325 bbf.

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Fortress Global Enterprises Reports Second Quarter 2019 Results

By Fortress Global Enterprises
Cision Newswire
August 6, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada

Fortress Global Enterprises reported 2019 second quarter operating EBITDA loss of $9.5 million compared to operating EBITDA loss of $9.7 million in the previous quarter and operating EBITDA of $2.7 million in the prior year comparative period.  The Dissolving Pulp Segment incurred operating EBITDA loss of $8.5 million. 

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Housing rebound helps drive Canadian consumer sentiment higher

By Chris Fournier
Bloomberg Real Estate
August 6, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada

The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index… rose to 58.6 last week, up from 58.3 at the end of June. The measure is probably benefiting from a rebound in economic growth, lower borrowing costs and easing concern about a major housing correction. The share of respondents who see local real estate prices rising in the next six months climbed to… the highest month-end reading since December 2017.

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Domtar’s paper business falls short of expectations

August 1, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

Domtar reported net earnings of $18 million for the second quarter of 2019 compared to net earnings of $80 million for the first quarter of 2019 and net earnings of $43 million for the second quarter of 2018. Sales for the second quarter of 2019 were $1.3 billion.

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Negative Interest Rates: Someday The Bank May Pay You For Your Mortgage

By Daniel Tencer
The Huffington Post Business
July 29, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada

Central banks are desperate to keep the economy juiced through low interest rates. …Analysts at Bloomberg News recently put together a new index of housing bubble risk. …But it’s unlikely those negative rates will ever mean negative mortgage rates, right? Well, actually, it has happened.

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Random Lengths Lumber Market Report

Random Lenghts Publications
July 26, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

The measured pace in framing lumber trading that began in early July persisted into the latter part of the month. …Traders looked for more production curtailments to help balance supply and demand, but little developed this week on that front. Soft prices in various species pushed the Random Lengths Framing Lumber Composite Price down another $5, to $351.

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Knee-Jerk Construction Fears Create Another Buy Opportunity For Lumber

Seeking Alpha
July 26, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

Lumber prices currently remain at their post 2018 crash lows with random length futures currently trading at $350 down from $630 last May. While prices were too high then, they are far too low now, particularly when a major drop in housing development had yet to materialize and inflation expectations may be on the rise.

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Canfor Pulp’s operating income up slightly in Q2

By Canfor Pulp Products
Cision Newswire
July 26, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

Canfor Pulp reported Q2 operating income of $18 million, up $0.3 million from Q1 but down $67 million from the same period in 2018. Net income after adjustments was $10.6 million or $0.16 per share.

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Taiga’s Q2 sales decreased 16% due to lower commodity prices

By Taiga Building Products Ltd.
Cision Newswire
August 8, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, Canada West

BURNABY, BC – Taiga Building Products Ltd. reported its financial results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2019. Consolidated net sales for the quarter were $354.7 million compared to $422.9 million over the same period last year. The decrease in sales by $68.2 million was largely due to decreased selling prices for commodity products.

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Western Announces Second Quarter 2019 Results

Western Forest Products
August 1, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada West

Western Forest Products reported adjusted EBITDA of $15.1 million in the second quarter of 2019, compared to adjusted EBITDA of $50.2 million in the second quarter of 2018, and $18.1 million reported in the first quarter of 2019. Operating income was $1.4 million in the second quarter of 2019, compared to $39.7 million in second quarter of 2018, and $5.7 million reported in the first quarter of 2019.

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Stella-Jones Q2 revenue slips as challenges affect sales of some products

Canadian Press in Prince George Citizen
August 6, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Stella-Jones Inc.’s second-quarter sales revenue was down slightly from a year ago.  The company’s net income increased to $52.3 million or 76 cents per share in the quarter ended June 30, up from $58.1 million or 69 cents per share in the 2018 second quarter. Sales dipped to $661.8 million from $662.3 million, boosted by an $18.2 million positive impact from currency conversion.

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Resolute Forest Products reports Q2 profit

By Resolute Forest Products
Cision Newswire
August 1, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Resolute Forest Products reported second-quarter profit of $25 million, compared to $72 million in the same period in 2018. Sales were $755 million in the quarter, a decrease of $221 million from the year-ago period. “This results were most affected by lower pricing in all of our business segments, with the notable exception of tissue,” said Yves Laflamme.

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Acadian Timber sales and income up in Q2

By Acadian Timber Corp.
Global Newswire
July 30, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Acadian Timber reported sales of $17.9 million during the second quarter, compared to $16.1 million in the prior year period. Adjusted EBITDA was $3.0, up from $2.6 million. Acadian benefited from favourable Northeast regional log markets dynamics as year-over-year log sales volumes increased 5%.

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US Mortgage Rates Remain Near Historical Lows

Freddie Mac
August 15, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

Freddie Mac… Primary Mortgage Market Survey® showing that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate… unchanged from last week. “The sound and fury of the financial markets continue to warn of an impending recession, however, mortgage demand reached a three-year high… the decline in rates over the last month is causing a spike in refinancing activity… and purchase demand is up seven percent from a year ago.”

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Builder Confidence Trending Higher as Interest Rates Move Lower

By Robert Dietz
The National Association of Home Builders
August 15, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes rose one point to 66 in August, according to the latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Sentiment levels have held at a solid 64-to-66 level for the past four months. Even as builders report a firm demand for single-family homes, they continue to struggle with rising construction costs. 

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US Mortgage Rates Drop Significantly

Freddie Mac
August 8, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® showing that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate averaged 3.60%, the lowest it has been since November 2016. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.60% with an average 0.6 point for the week ending Aug 8, down from last week when it averaged 3.75%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.59%. 

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Armstrong Flooring sales down in second quarter

Armstrong Flooring Inc.
Business Wire
August 6, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

In the second quarter of 2019, Armstrong Florring’s net sales decreased 11.7% to $177.7 million from $201.2 million in the second quarter of 2018. Net income in the second quarter of 2019 was $14.7 million and second quarter 2019 adjusted EBITDA was $20.0 million, as compared to $20.7 million in the prior year quarter.

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Homebuilders Have Already Had Their Recession

Seeking Alpha
August 7, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

Amid the volatile backdrop of trade wars and geopolitical uncertainty, the US housing market may be an unlikely stabilizing force. 2019 continues to be a year of rejuvenation for the single-family homebuilders after falling into a “mini-recession” in 2018. Sharply lower mortgage rates have eased affordability concerns. …While slower-reacting data sets remain soft, forward-looking metrics like mortgage demand, homebuilder sentiment, and commentary from homebuilders have painted a brighter picture for the second half of 2019.

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Labor Shortages Still Hurting Affordability

By Paul Emrath
The NAHB Eye on Housing
August 5, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

Labor and subcontractor shortages remained widespread in July of 2019 and are continuing to impact the industry in a number of ways—including putting additional upward pressure on new home prices— according to the NAHB/Well Fargo Housing Market Index… from a low of 47 percent for building maintenance managers to a high of 83 percent for framing crews. …This shortage seems especially severe relative to housing starts.

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Beijing responds to Trump’s new $300 billion tariff threat

By Sam Meredith
CNBC News
August 2, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States, International

China’s spokesperson at the foreign ministry, Hua Chunying, said at a daily press briefing that Beijing would have to take countermeasures if the U.S. was committed to putting more tariffs on Chinese goods, Reuters reported. …In a series of tweets on Thursday, Trump announced another round of tariffs on the roughly $300 billion of Chinese goods that had not already been targeted by American levies.

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US construction spending posts biggest drop in seven months

Reuters
August 1, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

US construction spending fell by the most in seven month in June as investment in private construction projects tumbled to a more than 1-1/2-year low. The Commerce Department said construction spending dropped 1.3%, the biggest decline since last November. Data for May was revised up to show construction outlays falling 0.5% instead of decreasing 0.8% as previously reported.

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US Mortgage Rates Remain Flat

Freddie Mac
August 1, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

Freddie Mac released its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® showing that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate sat at 3.75 percent. “Mortgage rates have essentially stabilized over the last two months, which reflects the recovery and improvement in the economy from the malaise earlier in the year. Going forward, the combination of low mortgage rates, tight labor market and high consumer confidence should set up the housing market for continued improvement.”

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Fed Cuts Interest Rates For 1st Time Since 2008

By Scott Horsley
National Public Radio
July 31, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

The Federal Reserve is cutting interest rates for the first time in over a decade — a preemptive move aimed at extending the already record-long economic expansion. The Fed lowered its target for the key federal funds rate by a quarter percentage point. …Chairman Jerome Powell… described the rate cut as an insurance policy against potential speed bumps for the economy, including rising trade tensions and a slowdown in global growth. …left the door open to additional cuts if economic conditions warrant.

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U.S. Pending Home Sales Increase by Most in Three Months

July 30, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

Contract signings to purchase previously owned US homes rose in June by the most in three months, indicating demand may pick up with the help of lower mortgage rates and steady job growth. The index of pending home sales increased 2.8% from the previous month.

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Possible dissent hangs over Fed’s first rate cut in a decade

By Ann Saphir and Trevor Hunnicutt
Reuters
July 30, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

 US Federal Reserve policymakers will not surprise markets if they deliver on expectations and cut U.S. interest rates for the first time in a decade on Wednesday. Less clear is how Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will manage debate at the central bank about whether the stimulus is necessary. 

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US GDP slows to 2.1% in second quarter but beats expectations

By Jeff Cox
CNBC News
July 26, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

US Growth decelerated in the second quarter, but not by as much as Wall Street thought, as tariffs and a global slowdown weighed on the U.S. economy, the Commerce Department reported Friday. GDP increased 2.1%, down from the first quarter’s 3.1%. Dow Jones Q2 estimates were for 2% growth. However, the underlying numbers seemed to take steam out of the recession fears.

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Mortgage Rates Near Three-Year Lows

Freddie Mac
July 25, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey, showing that mortgage rates dropped across the board after rising slightly last week. …Mortgage rates continued to hover near three-year lows and purchase application demand has responded, rising steadily over the last two months.

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Boise Cascade Reports Mixed Q2 Earnings

Boise Cascade
August 5, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States, US West

Boise Cascade reported quarterly sales of $1.23 billion and net income of $27.7 million for the second quarter compared with net income of $41.8 million on sales of $1.4 billion for the second quarter ended June 30, 2018. This is a 12.6% decrease over sales of $1.41 billion the same period last year.

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PotlatchDeltic lumber profits plummet 63 percent

By Robert Dalheim
Woodworking Network
July 31, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States, US West
SPOKANE, Wash. – Despite selling 1,800 acres of forestry for $20 million, the recently-formed lumber giant PotlatchDeltic Corp. reported that its second-quarter profits are down 63 percent from the same time last year. The company reported net income of $17.1 million for the priod ending June 30, compared to $46.1 million last year. Revenue fell close to 20 percent. …Potlatch and Deltic Timber Corp. merged early last year, forming a wood products and forestry behemoth.

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Rayonier Advanced Materials Reports Second Quarter 2019 Results

Rayonier Advanced Materials
August 7, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: US East, United States

Rayonier Advanced Materials reported second quarter 2019 net loss of $15 million compared to net income of $54 million for the same prior year quarter ended 2018. Year-to-date net loss was $37 million compared to net income of $78 million. The prior year income included a $15 million gain associated with the acquisition of Tembec Inc.

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German softwood log exports up 74 % in first quarter

EUWID Wood Products and Panels
August 7, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: International

The surplus supply of softwood logs from clearance storm and drought damage as well as bark-beetle infestation left clear marks on Germany’s foreign trade figures in the first quarter. A total of 1.183m m³ of softwood logs were exported in the first three months, 74.4 % more than in the same quarter of last year. …Conversely, the softwood log imports decreased for both ranges of assortments.

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Mercer international reports weaker than expected earnings

By Mercer International
Global Newswire
August 2, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics

Mercer International reported second quarter 2019 EBITDA of $70.0 million down from $123.8 million in the first quarter of 2019. Net income decreased to $10.3 million from $16.8 million, in the second quarter of 2018 and $51.6 million in the first quarter of 2019. 

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Norbord reports negative earnings in Q2

August 1, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics

Norbord Inc. reported Adjusted EBITDA of $36 million in the second quarter of 2019 compared to $42 million in the first quarter of 2019 and $273 million in the second quarter of 2018. The decrease versus both comparative periods was primarily due to lower North American OSB prices. 

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US consumer confidence rebounds sharply in July

By Paul Wiseman
The Associated Press
July 30, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics

American consumer confidence rebounded this month to the highest level since November after dropping in June. The Conference Board said that its consumer confidence index rose to 135.7 in July from 124.3 in June. The bounce back from last month’s drop was much stronger than economists expected.

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Annual Home Price Gains Dip To 3.4%

July 31, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics

S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices… for May 2019 shows that the rate of home price increases across the U.S. has continued to slow. The National Home Price NSA Index reported a 3.4% annual gain, down from 3.5% in the previous month.

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