Deltic Timber 4Q Swings to $2.4M Profit

Deltic Timber Corp. of El Dorado on Wednesday reported fourth-quarter net income of $2.4 million, or 19 cents per share, up from a net loss of $200,000, or 2 cents per share, during the same quarter last year.

The company, which owns and manages timberland in Arkansas and the Chenal Valley development in west Little Rock, attributed the increase to $5.2 million in operating income from its mills segment, up $4.6 million from the same time last year.

"Our portfolio of diverse assets performed well in 2012, and we reported profitable financial results for a tenth consecutive year," Ray C. Dillon, the company's president and CEO, said in a news release. 

"Driving the financial results for the current quarter and the year of 2012 was the company’s ownership and efficient operation of its sawmills," he said. "These sawmills also provide a secure market for Deltic’s sustainably managed, valuable timberland assets."

The company also said its real estate segment had an operating loss of $400,000 in the fourth quarter, down from operating income of $100,000 during the same time last year. Deltic sold 12 residential lots during the quarter, three more than it sold last year. The quarter’s average per-lot sales price was $70,000, up from $58,700 per lot in the fourth quarter of 2011.

There were no sales of commercial real estate acreage during the quarter, but the company sold 1.38 acres of commercial property for $411,600 per acre during the same quarter last year. 

Dillon said cash flow from operations helped the company fund its 2012 capital program, which included $14.5 million for timberland acquisitions. It also distributed $3.8 million in dividends to shareholders and reduced debt by $2.1 million.

Deltic (NYSE: DEL) said average sales price per-unit of lumber sold during the quarter increased by 29 percent, and lumber sales volume increased by 17 percent.

For the full year of 2012, net income reached $9.2 million, or 73 cents a share, compared to $2.7 million, or 21 cents per share, during the previous year. 

Looking to the first quarter, the company said it expects residential lot sales between eight to 12 lots. For the year, the company expects to sell 40 to 60 lots.

"Commercial acreage within Chenal Valley continues to receive interest, but due to the volatile nature of commercial real estate transactions and the significant number of factors involved, it is difficult to anticipate future closings," the company said in its earnings report.