Boise Cascade (BCC) Tops Q3 EPS by 75c
Boise Cascade (NYSE: BCC) reported Q3 EPS of $2.61, $0.75 better than the analyst estimate of $1.86. Revenue for the quarter came in at $1.6 billion versus the consensus estimate of $1.57 billion.
As we begin the fourth quarter, Wood Products continues to make efforts to restore production rates to pre-COVID-19 levels in response to strong end-product demand, particularly for our EWP. However, we continue to experience periodic short-term disruptions at many locations due to COVID-19. In addition, we expect activity levels across our distribution network to continue to vary widely as COVID-19 impacts geographies across the U.S. to differing degrees, and federal, state, or local restrictions are implemented or rescinded. To date, we have not experienced significant supply chain disruptions that would limit our ability to meet customer delivery commitments or source the necessary raw materials and finished goods needed by our operations. We continue to conduct business with modifications to mill and distribution center housekeeping and cleanliness protocols, employee travel, employee work locations, and virtualization or cancellation of certain sales and marketing events, among other modifications. In addition, we continue to actively monitor evolving developments and may take actions that alter our business operations as may be required by federal, state, or local authorities, or that we determine are in the best interests of our employees, customers, suppliers, communities, and stockholders.
While there continues to be a heightened level of economic uncertainty given the pandemic, low mortgage rates, continuation of work-from-home practices by many in the economy, and demographics in the U.S. have created a favorable demand environment for new residential construction, which we expect to continue into next year. Furthermore, with homeowners spending more time at home, repair and remodel spending may continue to strengthen as homeowners invest in existing homes. As of October 2020, the Blue Chip Economic Indicators consensus forecast for 2020 and 2021 single- and multi-family housing starts in the U.S. were 1.32 million and 1.38 million units, respectively, compared with actual housing starts of 1.29 million in 2019, as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau. Although we believe that current U.S. demographics support a higher level of housing starts, and many national home builders are reporting strong near-term backlogs, the impacts of COVID-19 on residential construction are uncertain. A re-acceleration of COVID-19 cases could prompt state or local officials to reinstitute restrictions that could limit or constrain building activity. In addition, the economic consequences of COVID-19 may adversely affect the pace of household formation rates and residential repair-and-remodeling activity due to high unemployment rates, lower wages, reduced consumer confidence, prospective home buyers' lack of ability to view homes in person, homebuyers' access to and cost of financing, and housing affordability, as well as other factors.
Strong demand when coupled with capacity constraints in third quarter 2020 created supply/demand imbalances in the marketplace and historically high pricing levels for commodity lumber and panel products. However, October 2020 composite lumber and panel prices have declined by approximately 35% and 10% from the peaks reached in September 2020 and are at risk for further price erosion that will be dependent on the impact of COVID-19 on residential construction, capacity restoration and industry operating rates, net import and export activity, transportation constraints or disruptions, inventory levels in various distribution channels, and seasonal demand patterns. As a wholesale distributor of a broad mix of commodity products and a manufacturer of certain commodity products, we have sales and profitability exposure to declines in commodity product prices. As previously announced, we will also continue to evaluate plywood market conditions, log supply availability, operating costs, environmental permits, and other factors influencing our Elgin plywood operations as we approach 2021.
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