Plum Creek Timber Co. Inc. Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

The Cheat Sheet

S&P 500 component Plum Creek Timber Co., Inc. will unveil its latest earnings on Monday, January 30, 2012. Plum Creek Timber is a real estate investment trust which owns and manages timberlands and produces lumber products, plywood, medium density fiberboard, and related by-products.

Plum Creek Timber Co., Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of 39 cents per share, a decline of 13.3% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. The average estimate is the same as three months ago. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate was unchanged. It also has not changed during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 9.8% versus last year to $1.20.

Past Earnings Performance: The company beat estimates last quarter after falling short in the prior two. In the third quarter, the company reported profit of 31 cents per share versus a mean estimate of net income of 30 cents per share. In the second quarter, the company missed estimates by one cent.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $305.2 million in revenue this quarter, a decline of 14.3% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $1.15 billion for the year, a decline of 3.4% from last year’s revenue of $1.19 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts seem relatively indifferent about Plum Creek Timber with six of nine analysts surveyed maintaining a hold rating.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose 56.3% to $50 million (31 cents a share) from $32 million (20 cents a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 13.1% to $293 million from $259 million.

Key Stats:

The company has now been profitable for the last eight quarters, and for the last four, profit has risen year over year by an average of 34.1%. The quarter with the biggest boost was the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, which saw a more than twofold surge.

The company’s revenue has risen for two straight quarters. In the second quarter, the figure rose 10.1%.

Competitors to Watch: Potlatch Corporation , Rayonier Inc. , Weyerhaeuser Company , Deltic Timber Corporation , Universal Forest Products, Inc. , Louisiana-Pacific Corp. , Pittsburgh & West Virginia Railroad and West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. .

Stock Price Performance: During November 23, 2011 to January 24, 2012, the stock price had risen $5.42 (15.8%) from $34.31 to $39.73. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between January 4, 2012 and January 19, 2012 when shares rose for 11-straight days, rising 8.8% (+$3.22) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between July 21, 2011 and August 4, 2011 when shares fell for 11-straight days, falling 12.1% (-$4.88) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com

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