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Friday, May 27, 2011

Wells Fargo’s Weekly Economic & Financial Commentary – May 27, 2011

-     GDP grew at a 1.8 percent pace during the first quarter, as the positive contribution from inventory building was offset by lower-than-expected consumer spending data.
-     Personal income grew 0.4 percent in April, but purchasing power eroded due to higher food and energy prices.
.     Real disposable income remained flat for the second month in a row, while real personal spending rose just 0.1 percent for the month.
-     The 3.6 percent decline in durable goods orders indicates that production will need to slow over the next month to match the pace of lower demand.
.     Excluding the volatile transportation component, durable goods orders fell 1.5 percent, compared to expectations for 0.5 percent growth.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Wells Fargo’s Weekly Economic & Financial Commentary

- Housing starts declined 10.6 percent in April, as single-family starts dropped 5.1 percent and multifamily projects fell 24.1 percent.
. The outlook for the housing market remains weak, as housing permits slipped below the three-month moving average to 551,000 in April.
- Existing home sales in April fell to 5.05 million units on an annualized basis, and the supply of existing homes jumped to 9.2 months from 8.3 months during March.
- The Mortgage Bankers Association data on purchase applications fell 3.2 percent during the second week of May, even as mortgage rates declined.
- Manufacturing production fell 0.4 percent in April marking the second consecutive monthly decline, as motor vehicle and parts production plunged 8.9 percent.

CertainTeed Certainly Pleased with 'Ideal' W.Va. Location - WVNS-TV -

CertainTeed Certainly Pleased with 'Ideal' W.Va. Location - WVNS-TV -

Friday, May 20, 2011

National Gypsum Introduces new ProForm 8-Sided Ready Mix Cartons

National Gypsum has  switched to a stronger, 8 sided box, with reinforced corners for their ready mix products.  You should be seeing it soon.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wells Fargo’s Monthly Economic Outlook – May 2011

-     Real GDP grew at a 1.8 percent pace in the first quarter and is expected to grow at a 2.0 percent pace during the current quarter, as growth remains restrained by cutbacks in government spending, the struggling housing market, and the fallout from the Japanese earthquake.
.     For the year, we expect real GDP to rise 2.4 percent, which is well below consensus, as we believe many forecasters are underestimating the resolve to reduce federal government spending and the pressure on state and local governments to do the same.
-     Final sales to domestic purchasers are expected to increase at a 4.4 percent pace in the second quarter and 2.5 percent for 2011, reflecting solid gains in consumer spending and business fixed investment.
-     We expect the headline CPI to climb 3.9 percent on a fourth-quarter-to-fourth-quarter basis in 2011, and look for the core CPI to climb 2.0 percent.
.     The Federal Reserve’s preferred price measure, the core PCE deflator, is expected to rise 1.8 percent.

Wells Fargo’s Weekly Economic & Financial Commentary

-     Inflation reports came in mostly above expectations during the week, with import prices increasing 2.2 percent, producer prices rising 0.8 percent, and consumer prices rising 0.4 percent month-over-month.
.     Core CPI inflation, watched closely by the Federal Reserve, rose 0.2 percent during April.
-     The U.S. trade balance was higher than expected in March, rising to $48.2 billion from a revised reading of $45.4 billion in February.
.     Surprisingly, most of the increase in the deficit was due to a 20.9 percent increase in the volume of petroleum imported, after a decline of 18.1 percent in that measure during February.
.     In March, exports rose 4.6 percent compared to February, and 14.9 year-over-year.
-     April’s retail data was mixed, as housing-related purchases such as furniture and appliances declined 1.1 percent, while gasoline rose 2.7 percent and food and beverage sales increased 1.2 percent.
-     Initial jobless claims remained above 400,000 for the fifth consecutive week, but declined to 434,000 from the previous week’s revised number of 478,000.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Eagle Materials / American Gypsum Report 1Q11 Earnings

Gypsum Wallboard and Paperboard
Fiscal 2011 operating earnings from Gypsum Wallboard and Paperboard were $13.3 million, a decrease of 18% compared to fiscal 2010. Revenues from Gypsum Wallboard and Paperboard were $271.7 million for fiscal 2011, 3% higher than last year’s revenues.

Gypsum Wallboard and Paperboard had a fourth quarter operating loss of $0.4 million compared to operating earnings of $1.1 million in the same quarter last year. Lower net wallboard sales prices and higher recycled fiber costs were the primary drivers of the quarterly earnings decline.

Gypsum Wallboard and Paperboard revenues for the fourth quarter totaled $64.8 million, a 3% decrease from the same quarter a year ago. The quarterly comparative revenue decline reflects lower Gypsum Wallboard net sales prices and lower Gypsum Wallboard and Paperboard sales volumes.  Gypsum Wallboard sales volumes of 428 million square feet (MMSF) were down approximately 4% from the prior year’s fourth quarter. The average Paperboard net sales price this quarter was $501.00 per ton, 15% greater than the same quarter a year ago. Paperboard sales volumes for the quarter were 48,000 tons, 16% less than the same quarter a year ago.

Lafarge Posts 1Q11 Earnings

Significant volume and revenue growth in the first quarter.
Group positioned for 2011 earnings growth and substantial deleveraging.

First-quarter key figures

  • Sales up 9% to € 3,557m
  • EBITDA stable at € 514m
  • Current operating income down 5% to € 224m
  • Net income group share up €44m when excluding disposal gain on Cimpor in 2010
  • Net earnings per share up €0.16 when excluding disposal gain on Cimpor in 2010

Group Highlights

  • Sales increased for the quarter, driven by higher volumes in all product lines across both emerging and developed markets.
  • Overall results impacted by inflation and events in Egypt.
  • Net income group share and earnings per share improved when excluding the first quarter 2010 one time gain of €137 million for the sale of the investment in Cimpor.
  • The Group is positioned for 2011 earnings growth and is on track to achieve more than €2 billion of deleveraging and €200 million of structural cost savings in 2011.


Overall the Group continues to see cement demand moving higher and estimates market growth of between 2 to 5 percent in 2011 versus 2010. Emerging markets continue to be the main driver of demand and Lafarge benefits from its well balanced geographic spread of high quality assets. For developed markets, the Group expects that demand will continue to recover.

Overall pricing is expected to move higher for the year in the context of a higher cost inflation environment, although levels of pricing movements will vary by market.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Delta Gypsum Stocking TALECRIS

National Gypsum's ProForm XP with Dust-Tech

ProForm XP with Dust-Tech

National Gypsum has introduced ProForm brand XP Ready Mix Joint Compound with Dust-Tech, an all-purpose, low-dust joint treatment with enhanced mold resistance. It’s the highest-performing ready mix in the industry, specially formulated to cause dust to fall straight to the floor, reducing airborne dust by more than 60 percent and improving indoor air quality during all phases and types of construction.
For more information, visit