UPDATE 3-Weyerhaeuser Q4 loss misses estimates, stock falls

* Q4 loss 52 cents/shr vs Wall St view of 38-cent loss

* Sees lower Q1 op loss for wood products segment

* Stock falls 2.7 pct
(Adds CEO comments, stock movement)

NEW YORK, Feb 5 (BestGrowthStock) – Timber developer and home
builder Weyerhaeuser Co (WY.N: ) posted a smaller fourth-quarter
loss on Friday, but it still missed Wall Street expectations
and its stock fell 2.7 percent.

The company also forecast an operating loss in the first
quarter for its wood products sector.

“The weak housing market continues to present challenges and
affect our financial performance,” Chief Executive Officer Dan
Fulton said in a statement.

Later, pressed by Wall Street analysts about the business
outlook for this year, he said there was no firm indication
that demand for timber from home builders was improving.

“We believe there’s some restocking and replenishment going
on and we do see the downstream being more consistent in terms
of how often they replenish,” he said on a conference call.

“But in terms of whether that’s truly an indication of
underlying demand going to be stronger…it is still too early
for us to tell.”

Asked about the outlook for new housing starts, Fulton
said: “We are expecting a slow steady recovery, and that is
forming decisions we make in our home building business as well
as wood products business, and our timberlands business.”

Chief Financial Officer Patty Bedient said that although
overall market conditions continued to be difficult, “as we
enter the new year, they’re much improved compared to a year
ago.”

Weyerhaeuser said its net fourth-quarter loss was $175
million, or 83 cents per share, compared with a loss of $1.2
billion, or $5.73 per share, a year ago.

Net sales for the quarter dropped 16 percent to $1.46
billion, the Federal Way, Washington-based company said.

Excluding one-time items such as the alternative fuel
credit and impairment and restructuring charges, Weyerhaeuser
posted a loss of 52 cents per share.

By that measure, analysts had expected a loss of 38 cents
per share and revenue of $1.371 billion, according to Thomson
Reuters I/B/E/S estimates.

Weyerhaeuser has large timberland holdings in North and
South America, builds homes, and produces packaging and various
timber products. The company plans to convert into a real
estate investment trust this year, a move that will cut its tax
burden and give investors higher returns.

Looking ahead, the company said it expects a lower operating
loss in the first quarter in its wood products business, due to
improved operating rates and anticipated sales realization
improvements for lumber and OSB, or particle board.

Weyerhaeuser sees operating earnings from the timberlands
segment to be comparable to the fourth quarter primarily due to
improved log sales realizations offset by higher costs.

For its cellulose fibers segment, Weyerhaeuser expects
earnings from operations for the first quarter to be comparable
to the fourth quarter, while in real estate it expects a
profitable quarter.

But it said a loss is expected from single-family
homebuilding operations due to seasonally lower closings.

In afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange,
Weyerhaeuser stock was down $1.09, or 2.7 percent, at $39.30.

Stock Market Research

(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder and Steve James in New York;
additional reporting by Shailesh Kuber in Bangalore, editing by
Dave Zimmerman and Gunna Dickson)

UPDATE 3-Weyerhaeuser Q4 loss misses estimates, stock falls