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Quanex fiscal 2Q loss swells in strike costs

HOUSTON (AP) -- The housing materials maker Quanex Building Products saw second-quarter losses swell due to hefty charges and lost sales stemming from a labor strike.

For the quarter ended April 30, Quanex posted a loss of $12.3 million, or 34 cents per share, compared with a loss of $1.4 million, or 4 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Excluding one-time charges related to the strike at its aluminum sheet products group, the shutdown of a manufacturing facility and other items, Quanex posted an adjusted loss of 6 cents per share for the recent quarter.

Revenue fell 4.3 percent to $194.4 million from $203.1 million

Analysts, on average, expected a loss of 7 cents per share on $200 million in revenue, according to a FactSet poll.

Sales of engineered products increased 32 percent to $108.8 million on higher demand for certain kinds of vinyl items, while aluminum sheet product sales tumbled 28 percent to $88.3 million, as the strike reduced production levels, the company said.

Quanex said it expects tough economic conditions, including the weak residential construction market and high unemployment, to continue to hamper its sales.

Shares in the housing sector slipped Monday on the release of the latest government data on factory orders, after markets tumbled sharply Friday on jobs numbers that were worse than expected.

While the company said it expects its 2012 shipments to come in slightly below industry observer projections, it added that it remains positive about its long-term prospects.

Shares of Quanex Building Products Corp. fell 30 cents to $15.65 in afternoon trading.