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Published: Thursday, 2/21/2013

Owens Corning remains optimistic despite $19M hit; stock falls nearly 8%

BY KRIS TURNER
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

Profit for Toledo’s biggest company last year was sapped by two charges that contributed to a $19 million loss, but company officials are optimistic about this year's earnings.

Owens Corning, the Toledo-based building supplies firm, reported a loss of $19 million, or 16 cents per share, in its year-end report, which was released Wednesday. In 2011, the company reported a profit of $276 million, or $2.25 a share.

“We continue to focus on improving our financial growth,” Mike Thaman, president and chief executive officer of Owens Corning, said during a conference call with investors Wednesday.

Owens Corning’s stock fell almost 8 percent, or $3.43 a share, to close at $39.91 Wednesday.

The company’s fourth-quarter results also were grim, showing a loss of $56 million, or 47 cents per share. In 2011, the company posted a profit of $50 million during the fourth quarter, or 41 cents per share.

The 2012 loss reflects a one-time, $74 million debt extinguishment charge that occurred in conjunction with an offer to refinance $350 million of outstanding senior notes. The company also incurred about $136 million in charges associated with a worldwide restructuring that the company says will make it more efficient.

Michael McMurray, Owens Corning’s chief financial officer, said the housing market should pick up in 2013 and positively impact the company, which expects to post better numbers in 2013.

For the year, the company reported net sales of $5.2 billion, compared with $5.3 billion in 2011.

“Owens Corning closed 2012 with positive momentum in each of our businesses,” Mr. Thaman said, noting that the insulation division ended the year with consecutive profitable quarters for the first time since 2008.

Mr. Thaman said the roofing and composite components of the company are expected to pick up in 2013 and should perform better than they did last year.

Mr. Thaman said Owens Corning is projected to make overall corporate improvements of $100 million in 2013.

“Our focus in 2013 is to deliver improved financial performance in all of our businesses,” Mr. Thaman said.

Contact Kris Turner at: kturner@theblade.com or 419-724-6103.



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