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West Fraser Timber Reports Q4 Loss Of $94 Million On Weak Lumber Demand

West Fraser Timber Co. (WFG) has reported a fourth-quarter loss of $94 million U.S. due to weak demand for lumber products amid a slowdown in the North American housing market.

The Vancouver-based company said that the Q4 loss represented a decline of 128% compared with earnings of $334 million U.S. during the same period of 2021.

West Fraser Timber reports its earnings in U.S. dollars.

The company said it is dealing with a pronounced slowdown in new home construction in both Canada and the U.S. that has been caused by higher interest rates.

That slowdown has hurt production and sales of West Fraser’s lumber business. Sales in Q4 amounted to $1.62 billion U.S., down more than 20% from $2.04 billion U.S. a year earlier.

Earnings per share were negative -$1.13 U.S., down from a profit of $3.13 a share in the year earlier quarter.

The company said that for all of 2022, it earned $1.98 billion U.S., down 33% from $2.95 billion U.S. in 2021.

West Fraser Timber has announced that it is temporarily curtailing operations at its mill in Quesnel, British Columbia, and indefinitely halting production at its Perry Sawmill in Florida due to weak lumber demand.

West Fraser’s stock has fallen 11% over the past 12 months to trade at $110.48 per share