Plum Creek Timber Earnings Cheat Sheet: FFO Falls Year-Over-Year

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Plum Creek Timber Company Inc. (NYSE:PCL) reported its results for the fourth quarter. 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.

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Plum Creek Timber Company Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Fourth Quarter

Results: The company’s funds from operations (FFO) fell 15.6% from the year earlier quarter to 38 cents. FFO, a measure of performance of a real estate investment trust (REIT), removes the profit-reducing effect that depreciation has on earnings. It fell short of the consensus estimate of 39 cents per share.

Quoting Management: “Plum Creek posted another good year in 2011,” said Rick Holley, president and chief executive officer. “Once again, our unmatched geographic diversity helped us manage the business for long-term value despite some challenging market conditions. Income from continuing operations declined from our 2010 level as improved profitability in our Northern Resources segment offset some of the impact from lower log prices in the South. We produced $374 million of cash flow from our operations, more than enough to pay an attractive dividend, reinvest in our business, and maintain a strong balance sheet.”

Looking Forward: Analysts appear increasingly optimistic about the company’s results for the next quarter. The average estimate for the first quarter of the next fiscal year has moved up from 24 cents a share to 26 cents over the last ninety days. The average estimate for the fiscal year has remained at $1.20 per share.

Competitors to Watch: Potlatch Corporation (NYSE:PCH), Rayonier Inc. (NYSE:RYN), Weyerhaeuser Company (NYSE:WY), Deltic Timber Corporation (NYSE:DEL), Universal Forest Products, Inc. (NASDAQ:UFPI), Louisiana-Pacific Corp. (NYSE:LPX), Pittsburgh & West Virginia Railroad (AMEX:PW) and West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. (NYSE:WFT).

Stock Performance: Shares of PCL were down 1.2% from the previous close.

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

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at