Rayonier Earnings Call NUGGETS: Project Plans, Wet Weather Impact

On Thursday, Rayonier, Inc. (NYSE:RYN) reported its second quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call. Take a look.

Project Plans

Chip Dillon – Vertical Research Partners: Looking at the exchange that you talked about and maybe this was laid out and I just missed it, but basically you had this in both second quarters only this year and last year. And so maybe I just don’t recall should this is up I guess about $0.08 of the earnings that you reported. I am sorry I actually did a stock split. So it’s probably about $0.05 of the $0.45 is that the way we should think about it for this year?

Hans E. Vanden Noort – SVP and CFO: Its $0.05.

Chip Dillon – Vertical Research Partners: Or is it $0.54.

Hans E. Vanden Noort – SVP and CFO: That’s right Chip it’s about $0.05 of the $0.54 that we recorded this quarter, basically you got to go through the analysis each year and so last year we had updated the analysis in the second quarter and we did the same thing here we completed the analysis and came up with this determination.

Chip Dillon – Vertical Research Partners: Got you but there was nothing in there for either the first quarter of this year or last year, it’s just been recognized only in the two second quarters is that right?

Hans E. Vanden Noort – SVP and CFO: Actually we had a little bit more I think in the third quarter, but you are right the bulk of it come through in the second quarter.

Chip Dillon – Vertical Research Partners: Then moving on looking at the project, could you just give us an update on that and I guess the two questions specifically are how do you see the $7 million in capitalized interest sort of running off next year, where you see as a goal I guess in mid-year. Then is everything pretty much on time for startup in the middle of next year or I guess the September as you’d indicated. Second quarter as you’d indicated earlier.

Hans E. Vanden Noort – SVP and CFO: So once we complete the project we’ll start capitalizing interest and I’ll just then run through the depreciation expense as part of the overall cost of the project. Jack, maybe you want to handle as far as the timing of it?

Jack M. Kriesel – SVP, Performance Fibers: Yeah. We’re – as indicated, we’re still looking at a mid-2013 as per our plan, and we’re well underway this year, so we don’t see any issues at this point in time.

Chip Dillon – Vertical Research Partners: Okay. And then the last one is, when you do start that up. I mean, right now, looks you’re your depreciation is running somewhere around, 260, I guess – well, actually I’m sorry, you mentioned 153 for this year, and I am assuming that won’t change a lot until that starts up, but upon start up what do you sort of see the annualized depreciation, and I know I included basis in that number, but where do you see the annualized – so let’s maybe use the 147, what do you see that going to, how much of an impact will the project have?

Hans E. Vanden Noort – SVP and CFO: Well, your incremental I would say roughly would be another $15 million or so a year of depreciation roughly on a full year, yeah.

Wet Weather Impact

Joshua Barber – Stifel Nicolaus: We’ve seen some pretty wet weather so far in – around the Gulf South, so far third quarter to-date, can you talk about some potential impact first on your timber pricing for the third quarter, and also on what impact that might be having on the costs for the Performance Fiber side?

Paul G. Boynton – Chairman, President and CEO: Yeah. Josh, let’s Lynn take the first part and Jack the second, yeah.

Lynn Wilson – SVP, U.S. Forest Resources: Josh, we’ve been very fortunate within the Gulf states and we’ve seen timber prices go up across the board anywhere between 5% to 7%, but we expect that to carry through the third quarter because of the extended impact, particularly from West and we’re looking forward to capturing that price in third quarter.

Jack M. Kriesel – SVP, Performance Fibers: And from a Performance Fiber standpoint, when you go back and you look at some of the wet periods like 2003, we learned that we needed to carry significant amounts of inventory to try to correct that, prevent from running out of fiber. So, we’re in very good position with our procurement group going into this wet period and bottom line is, we didn’t see much of an impact, somewhat of an increase in hardwood, but nothing too significant.

Joshua Barber – Stifel Nicolaus: We’ve seen a couple of big timber deals in the last few months. Are you guys still involved actively in some of the larger deals and do you think your cost of capital can be competitive today where some of those prices seem to be?

Paul G. Boynton – Chairman, President and CEO: Josh, I’ll take a swing at this and then Charlie is going to add to it. Obviously, we’re still out there looking. We reported last time kind of our look to hit ratio and we tend to look at a lot – bid on a lot less and then actually execute on a very small numbers. So, Josh, we’re still out there actively, but it’s got to make good financial return for us and we stay very disciplined on that. So, we don’t have much to report ourselves so far this year. Charlie, any comments on where you see transaction rates at or anything?

Charles Margiotta – SVP, Real Estate and President, TerraPointe Services Inc.: Only that – just to repeat what you said a bit that we’ve done valuations, we’ve made some offers and basically this year we’ve outfit. So, it’s pretty active out there. We continue to look and there are opportunities, but it’s a pretty active market.

Joshua Barber – Stifel Nicolaus: Two quick questions for Hans. First, is the $0.05 of the cellulosic biofuel credit, is that included in your guidance as being comparable or would that be counted as a special item? Second, what’s the total cash spend to-date on the Jesup project?

Hans E. Vanden Noort – SVP and CFO: It is just including the overall guidance the $0.05 and then the total cash spend through June 30 is about $116 million on the CFE.