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Why Is Louisiana-Pacific (LPX) Up 13.7% Since Last Earnings Report?

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A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Louisiana-Pacific (LPX). Shares have added about 13.7% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Louisiana-Pacific due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at the most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

Louisiana-Pacific Q2 Earnings Top, Margin Rises

Louisiana-Pacific Corporation — commonly known as LP — reported impressive second-quarter 2021 results. Both the top and bottom lines not only surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate but also improved significantly on a year-over-year basis.

LP Chairman and CEO, Brad Southern, said "All of LP's segments overcame tightening supply chains to set records for sales and EBITDA in the second quarter of 2021, resulting in $4.74 in adjusted diluted earnings per share. Siding sales grew by 39% and higher OSB prices resulted in extraordinary cash flow. The Siding capacity expansion project at Houlton is underway and on schedule, and Peace Valley pressed its first OSB board since restarting in late June."

Detailed Discussion

Louisiana-Pacific reported adjusted earnings of $4.74 per share, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.40 by 7.7% and rising more than 11 times from the year-ago reported figure of 43 cents.

Net sales of $1.33 billion topped the consensus estimate of $1.21 million by 9.8% and improved a whopping 141.8% from the year-ago period. The upside was driven by solid segmental results.

Single-family housing starts increased 46% year over year. Multi-family starts improved almost 52% from the prior year.

Segmental Analysis

Siding: The segment’s sales of $291 million were up 32% from the prior-year period. The upside was due to a 39% increase in Siding Solutions revenues partially offset by low fiber sales. Adjusted EBITDA improved 52% from the prior-year quarter to $77 million driven by strong revenues, partially offset by increases in raw material prices, freight costs and mill spending.

OSB: Sales in the segment increased 281% year over year to $778 million. The company’s adjusted EBITDA also jumped 1,128% from a year ago to $565 million. Increased OSB prices and 8% higher volumes aided the segment.

EWP: Segment’s sales grew 99% year over year to $158 million. Adjusted EBITDA increased 513% year over year to $18 million. Increased pricing in response to rising input costs led the top-line growth.

South America: Sales of $74 million rose 94% and adjusted EBITDA grew 206% from the year-ago quarter to $34 million due to higher OSB and siding pricing, partially offset by increased imported raw material as well as wood costs.

Operating Highlights

Gross margin expanded 3200 basis points (bps) year over year to 53.4%. Adjusted EBITDA of $684 million was up a notable 605.2% from the prior-year figure of $97 million. The upside was primarily due to growth in Siding Solutions and higher OSB prices, partially offset by increases in raw material prices, freight costs as well as maintenance projects.

Financials

As of Jun 30, 2021, Louisiana-Pacific had cash and cash equivalents of $590 million compared with $535 million at 2020-end. Long-term debt was $346 million, down from $348 million at 2020-end.

For the second quarter, net cash provided by operations was $457 million, up from $129 million net cash used in operations reported in the year-ago period.

Guidance

For third-quarter 2021, the company expects Siding Solutions revenue growth to be 10% from the year-ago period. OSB revenues are expected to sequentially fall 10%. It anticipates consolidated adjusted EDITDA of more than $530 million.

Given the current scenario, Louisiana-Pacific now expects capital expenditures for 2021 to be $270 million ($230-$250 million expected earlier).

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

In the past month, investors have witnessed an upward trend in estimates review. The consensus estimate has shifted 7.53% due to these changes.

VGM Scores

At this time, Louisiana-Pacific has a great Growth Score of A, though it is lagging a lot on the Momentum Score front with a C. However, the stock was allocated a grade of A on the value side, putting it in the top 20% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of A. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.

Outlook

Estimates have been trending upward for the stock, and the magnitude of this revision looks promising. Notably, Louisiana-Pacific has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.


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