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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Delta Gypsum now stocking Light Weight Wallboard

Up to 30% lighter than Regular wallbaord!

 American Gypsum's new LightRoc 1/2" comes in 8' and 12' lengths.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Private sector adds 201,000 jobs in March

Private-sector employment climbed 201,000 in March, according to Automatic Data Processing Inc.’s employment report released Wednesday, in a preview of the more closely followed U.S. government data later this week.

The gain was roughly in line with economists’ forecasts.

In February, private payrolls rose by 208,000, down slightly from the initial estimate of a 217,000 increase.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lennar surprises with $27.4M profit

Lennar Corp., shocked Wall Street Tuesday when the company reported net income when most analysts had predicted a net loss for the three months ended Feb. 28.

A Bloomberg report states that the Miami, Fla.-based company was able to post a profit for the quarter after settling an expensive lawsuit and adding income from its distressed-investing unit.

Lennar (NYSE:LEN) posted net income of $27.4 million for the quarter, or 14 cents a share. Analysts had predicted a loss of 7 cents a share, Bloomberg reports. The company has a loss of $6.5 million, or 4 cents a share, a year earlier.

U.S. Architecture Billings Inch Up In February

The Architecture Billings Index rose 0.6 points to 50.6 last month, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) said. It was the fourth consecutive reading above 50, a sign that billings by architecture firms are rising.

The billings index is considered a predictor of construction spending about nine to 12 months in the future, since buildings are designed long before they are erected.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Final read on Gross Domestic Product much stronger

Fourth quarter GDP grew at an annual pace of 3.1 percent, up from the Bureau of Economic Analysis' previous estimate of 2.8 percent, led by stronger consumer spending.

Consumer spending rose 4 percent, the biggest increase since the fourth quarter of 2006. Inventory investment and business investment were both also revised upward, while exports of goods and services were revised lower.

Corporate profits rose 2.3 percent in the fourth quarter, led by banks and other financial firms. The financial services sector saw profits rise 15.6 percent.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Certainteed Releases Sustainability Report

CertainTeed Corp. has issued its first Corporate Sustainability Report. The 28-page report highlights recent steps the company has taken on the path to becoming an increasingly sustainable company.

“We believe strongly in setting sustainability goals, tracking our progress and sharing the results with our employees, suppliers, customers and the communities that we all live in,” said Chris Altmansberger, vice president of operations support and process sustainability at CertainTeed. “We continue to demonstrate our commitment by creating a culture which is more responsible to our surrounding environment.”

One of the company’s environmental achievements was a substantial reduction in energy use by its facilities—a savings that kept more than 70,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from entering the atmosphere. The savings is the equivalent of the carbon dioxide absorbed by 3 million trees in a year.
The company has been recognized as an Energy Star Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2009 and 2010.

“In addition to responsible manufacturing processes, influencing the entire life cycle of our products through stewardship and innovation is inherent to CertainTeed’s commitment to sustainability,” said Aman Desouza, director of innovation and product sustainability at CertainTeed. “Doing our part for the environment is one of the best ways we can serve our customers and our world today and for generations to come.”
In recent years, CertainTeed has developed several products that contribute to sustainability of homes and buildings. Many of these include high-recycled content, help conserve energy and improve indoor air quality.
Company employees are well trained to be environmental stewards and safe workers. Twenty-two CertainTeed manufacturing facilities have been inducted into Saint-Gobain’s Millionaires Club, a program designed to reward plants that have operated at least 1 million work hours without a lost-time accident.

For more information on sustainable building, or to download a copy of CertainTeed’s Corporate Sustainability Report, go to

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Survey: Contractors Will Trend Back to Pro Dealers as Economy Rebounds

Contractors expect to shift more of their purchases away from big boxes and back toward pro-oriented dealers as the economy improves in the next few years, a recent survey and report by L.E.K. Consulting suggests. The Boston-based firm's poll in December of more than 500 contractors predicts that channel shifts will occur across all trade categories, particularly roofing, carpentry, paint, siding, drywall, windows, and doors, particularly starting around 2013.

Friday, March 18, 2011

CertainTeed introduces Diamondback™ Tile Backer

CertainTeed introduces Diamondback™ Tile Backer, a high-performance tile backer that features an industry-first bonding technology that makes tile installation simpler, faster and less costly.
Reinforced with embedded glass mats, Diamondback features a patent-pending polymer coating with a unique textured surface that creates a strong bond, reducing tile slippage during installation. The innovative Diamondback coating eliminates the need for an additional moisture barrier, reducing overall installation costs.

Diamondback weighs 40% less than traditional cement boards and is much easier to handle, cut and install. It is GREENGUARD Children & Schools(SM) Certified and contributes directly to healthy indoor air quality.

Ideal for use in bathrooms, kitchens and other high-moisture interior areas, Diamondback Tile Backer is suitable for both wet and non-wet installations in both residential and commercial applications. The product conforms to ASTM C1178 and yields the highest level of mold resistance when tested in accordance with ASTM D3273.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

House Votes to Kill Mortgage Aid Program

The House voted Friday to end a program designed to give federal loans to homeowners who can't make mortgage payments because they've lost their jobs or become ill.It was the second time in two days that the House has voted to end aid for struggling homeowners, an effort that has spurred a partisan fight over how to balance frugality and compassion at a time of massive federal deficits.The White House has threatened to veto the bill should it reach President Barack Obama's desk, saying the program would help keep people in their homes.

CertainTeed has introduced a cost-effective gypsum board that improves acoustical performance

CertainTeed has introduced a cost-effective gypsum board that improves acoustical performance and offers a high level of mold and fire resistance. The SilentFX has achieved a high sound transmission class rating of 50 and higher, and allows building professionals to achieve acoustical control with less material than traditional gypsum boards. The product consists of Green Glue, a viscoelastic polymer, that is sandwiched between two Type X fire resistant gypsum boards. Specially engineered to provide enhanced protection against moisture and mold with M2Tech technology, SilentFX is GREENGUARD Children and Schools Certified. SilentFX gypsum boards are designed for use on interior walls and ceilings and can be used for new construction or renovations over wood or steel framing. The product is easy to install and finish in a conventional fashion.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

New CertainTeed Sitelet Makes Building Science Expertise Available to Residential and Commercial Construction Professionals

The Building Science sitelet provides building and design solutions that are based in science, including problem diagnosis, integrated solutions and best practices. While the concepts presented are intended for an audience of building and design professionals, they are offered in a manner that is understandable to all visitors. Building science topics covered on the site include: Acoustics, Fire Performance, Indoor Environmental Quality, Moisture Management, Sustainability, and Energy Efficiency. Visitors to the site can access frequently asked questions, videos and literature on specific topics, as well as practical building and design strategies.

It can be found at:

Saturday, March 5, 2011

American Gypsum introduces LIGHTROC lightweight drywall

LightRoc® gypsum wallboard is lighter in weight than traditional 1/2” drywall. The wallboard panels consist of a fire-resistant gypsum core that is encased in natural-finish paper on the face side and sturdy liner paper on the back side which are both 100% recycled. The face paper is folded around the long edges to reinforce and protect the core, with the ends being square-cut and finished smooth. Long edges of the panels are tapered, allowing joints to be reinforced and concealed with a joint compound system.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

MarinoWare and CEMCO reach agreement with Telling

MarinoWare and California Expanded Metals Company have announced that Telling Industries has signed an agreement to manufacture the ViperStud Drywall Framing System under license.

ClarkWestern and Dietrich Form Joint Venture

Marubeni-Itochu Steel America Inc. and Worthington Industries Inc. announced that they have reached an agreement in principle to combine ClarkWestern Building Systems and Dietrich Metal Framing in a newly-formed joint venture. In the transaction, MISA will acquire a 75 percent interest of the joint venture, and Worthington will acquire a 25 percent interest. As part of the exchange, Worthington will also acquire the assets of the non-automotive service center business of MISA Metals, Inc. (MMI) consisting of three steel processing facilities located in Ohio and Tennessee. Both parties anticipate the deal will be signed by the end of the month.

MBA and Southeastern Sign ProSTUD License Agreement

MBA Building Supplies Inc and Southeastern Stud & Components Inc. have entered into agreements to manufacture and distribute ProSTUD Drywall Framing products.

The product was co-developed by ClarkWestern Building Systems and Dietrich Metal Framing and launched in 2009. The addition of MBA and Southeastern brings the ProSTUD production capability to four manufacturers and 27 manufacturing facilities servicing the entire United States.

ADP: Private Employers added 214k jobs last month

Payroll firm Automatic Data Processing Inc. reported its estimates Wednesday, saying private employers added 217,000 new jobs last month.

The majority of the new jobs created in February came at small and medium-sized businesses, adding 204,000 jobs. Larges businesses added just 13,000 jobs last month.

Employment gains in the small-business sector have been positive for 12 consecutive months, an encouraging sign for the job market,

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Armstrong World Industries Reports Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2010 Results

LANCASTER, Pa., Feb. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Armstrong World Industries, Inc. (NYSE: AWI) today reported fourth quarter 2010 net sales of $642.9 million, down 2 percent, from $653.0 million in the same period for 2009. Excluding a $5 million, or 1 percent, unfavorable impact of foreign exchange rates, sales decreased 1 percent. Reported operating loss of $30.2 million for the fourth quarter compared to operating loss of $1.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. Reported net loss was $21.0 million, or $0.36 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter. This compared to a net loss of $3.8 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2009.

The Company uses adjusted income from operations, as well as other non-GAAP measures mentioned below, in managing the business and believes the adjustments provide meaningful comparisons of operating performance between periods. Adjusted operating income excludes the impact of foreign exchange, restructuring charges and related costs, impairments, and certain other gains and losses.
Adjusted operating income for the fourth quarter of 2010 of $18.7 million decreased 28 percent compared to $25.8 million on the same basis in the fourth quarter of 2009. As detailed in the attached reconciliation to GAAP, these adjustments increased operating income by $48.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2010 and $27.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. Adjusted net income was $6.3 million, or $0.11 per diluted share, compared to $12.9 million, or $0.22 per diluted share, on the same basis in 2009.

Fourth quarter volume declines of 2.5% and input inflation of $23 million more than offset the gains from manufacturing and SG&A. Volume losses were especially significant in our Wood Flooring segment where sales were down 11% despite modest mix and price improvements. Inflation had a particularly negative impact on our Wood Flooring segment which experienced approximately $20 million of increased cost due to lumber pricing versus the same period in 2009.

4th Quarter Segment Highlights
Resilient Flooring net sales were $229.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to $237.6 million in the same period of 2009. Excluding the unfavorable impact of foreign exchange of $3 million, net sales declined about 2 percent. Lower sales volumes drove the decline. Reported operating loss was $1.8 million compared to a loss of $6.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. European Resilient Flooring contributed losses of $7.8 million and $5.2 million, respectively to those totals. Adjusted operating income for the segment of $1.2 million improved from a loss of $4.3 million calculated on the same basis in the prior year, despite lower sales. Adjusted operating income improved due to lower manufacturing and SG&A costs more than offsetting the margin impact of lower volume.

Wood Flooring net sales of $107.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2010 declined 11 percent from $120.7 million in the prior year's quarter as residential new home construction and repair remodel activity in North America was down year-over-year. Reported operating loss of $32.0 million in the fourth quarter reflected a larger loss than the loss of $10.2 million reported in fourth quarter of 2009. Adjusted operating loss of $4.1 million was worse than income of $9.7 million calculated on the same basis in the prior year. Raw material inflation and lower volumes exceeded the cost reductions in manufacturing and SG&A.

Building Products net sales of $273.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2010 increased from $260.0 million in the prior year's quarter. Excluding the unfavorable effects of foreign exchange of $2 million, sales increased by 6 percent. Volumes improved, primarily in Europe and Asia, and price and mix were up in North America. Reported operating income decreased to $16.1 million from $23.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. Adjusted operating income of $31.7 million increased from $23.6 million calculated on the same basis in 2009; 2010 was impacted by $7 million in charges related to the shutdown of the Beaver Falls facility. The adjusted operating income improvements were primarily driven by the sales gains.
Cabinets fourth quarter net sales of $32.4 million were 7 percent below sales of $34.7 million in 2009 due to less volume. Reported operating loss for the fourth quarter of $0.9 million was better than the prior year's $8.3 million loss. 2010 results were helped by lower manufacturing and SG&A expense. 2009 as reported results were impacted by the $4.9 million adjustment related to expenses associated with the closure of the Auburn, Nebraska manufacturing plant.

Unallocated corporate expense of $11.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to income of $0.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. This change was driven by increased consulting expense in 2010 to help drive manufacturing and SG&A productivity.
Free cash flow of $43 million in the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to $53 million in 2009. Lower cash earnings, smaller improvements in working capital and restructuring charges negatively impacted results for the 2010 period versus the 2009 period.

Full Year Results
For the year ended December 31, 2010, net sales of $2.8 billion were flat with 2009. Excluding a $7 million favorable impact from exchange rates, net sales decreased by 1 percent. Lower volumes, primarily in North America more than offset mix and price gains.
Reported operating income for the year was $81.1 million compared to $90.6 million for 2009. Reported net earnings were $11.0 million, or $0.19 per diluted share, compared to $77.7 million, or $1.36 per diluted share in 2009.

Adjusted operating income of $188.2 million increased 20 percent compared to adjusted operating income of $156.6 million in 2009. Reduced manufacturing costs, particularly fixed costs, and lower SG&A expense offset inflation and lower sales volume. Adjusted net earnings of $100.8 million, or $1.73 per diluted share, compared to $81.9 million, or $1.44 per diluted share, on the same basis in 2009.
Free cash flow for the year was $180 million compared to $211 million in 2009 as smaller working capital improvements and lower cash earnings led to lower free cash flow in 2010.