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Masco Corporation Reports Record Sales For 2006

Published on 2007-02-20. Author : SpecialChem

Taylor, Michigan -- Masco Corporation (NYSE: MAS) reported that net sales from continuing operations for the year ended December 31, 2006 increased two percent to a record $12.8 billion compared with $12.6 billion for 2005.

Income from continuing operations was $2.22 per common share and $2.26 per common share for 2006 and 2005, respectively, excluding non-cash impairment charges for goodwill and financial investments and costs and charges related to profit improvement programs. Including these charges, income from continuing operations, as reported, was $461 million or $1.15 per common share and $866 million or $2.01 per common share for 2006 and 2005, respectively.

Fourth quarter 2006 net sales from continuing operations declined six percent to $2.9 billion. Results for 2006 were adversely affected by an accelerating decline in the new home construction market in the last six months of the year, a moderation in consumer spending for certain "big ticket" home improvement items, such as cabinets, and the continuing negative impact of higher commodity costs, partially offset by profit improvement programs and selling price increases.

Income from continuing operations was $.38 per common share and $.50 per common share for the fourth quarters of 2006 and 2005, respectively, excluding non-cash impairment charges for goodwill in 2006 and 2005 and financial investments and costs and charges related to profit improvement programs in 2006. Including these charges, (loss) income from continuing operations was $(186) million or $(.48) per common share, and $140 million or $.33 per common share, for the fourth quarters of 2006 and 2005, respectively. In 2006, the Company recognized non-cash, pre-tax impairment charges for goodwill aggregating $331 million ($331 million after tax). These charges, principally related to the Company's European manufacturer of ready-to-assemble cabinets (Tvilum-Scanbirk), reflect the long-term outlook for the business unit, including declining demand for certain products, as well as decreased operating profit margins. The Company also recognized non-cash, pre-tax impairment charges for financial investments aggregating $101 million ($66 million after tax). In 2005, the Company recognized non-cash, pre-tax impairment charges for goodwill aggregating $69 million ($69 million after tax), and non-cash, pre-tax impairment charges for financial investments aggregating $45 million ($29 million after tax).

The Company originally estimated that 2006 costs and charges related to profit improvement programs in the Plumbing Products segment would approximate $70 million pre-tax compared with the actual costs and charges of $39 million pre-tax. The reduction in anticipated cost resulted from the sale of an operation originally scheduled for closure, and was partially offset by costs and charges aggregating $8 million pre-tax for the closure of a relatively small ready-to-assemble cabinet manufacturing facility in the Cabinets and Related Products segment.

Outlook 2007

New home construction has declined dramatically in the last 12 months due to previous excessive speculative buying, rapidly rising home prices in recent years reducing affordability and less attractive mortgage terms. Even with the recent decline in single-family housing starts, the inventory of unsold new homes has increased to unprecedented levels. The uncertainty that home builders may cut production even further to reduce this inventory, and given the large percentage of Masco sales that go to the new home construction market, combined with the unpredictability of commodity costs, make it very difficult for the Company to provide earnings per common share guidance for 2007.

Also negatively impacting the Company's earnings outlook for 2007 are plant and system implementation start-up costs, costs and charges related to additional profit improvement programs, including severance costs from headcount reductions, higher interest expense, a moderation at retail of sales of certain "big ticket" home improvement items, such as cabinets, and as yet unrecovered commodity cost increases.

Housing starts declined by approximately 13 percent in 2006 compared with 2005 to 1.8 million units. Late in 2006, the housing starts run rate was between approximately 1.5 to 1.6 million units, which is more than 20 percent below the 2005 levels. If housing starts improve from these levels, commodity costs moderate, and home improvement retail sales improve, then the Company's earnings per common share could be $1.80 or even higher for 2007. On the other hand, if housing starts decline even further than current depressed levels, as some observers predict, and commodity costs escalate, the Company's earnings per common share for 2007 could decline to $1.50 or less.

Headquartered in Taylor, Michigan, Masco Corporation is one of the world's leading manufacturers of home improvement and building products as well as a leading provider of services that include the installation of insulation and other building products.

Statements contained herein may include certain forward-looking statements regarding Masco's future sales, earnings growth potential and other developments. Actual results may vary materially because of external factors such as interest rate fluctuations, changes in consumer spending and other factors over which management has no control. The Company believes that certain non-GAAP performance measures and ratios, used in managing the business, may provide users of this financial information with additional meaningful comparisons between current results and results in prior periods. Non-GAAP performance measures and ratios should be viewed in addition to, and not as an alternative for, the Company's reported results under accounting principles generally accepted in the United States. Masco undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Source: Masco Corporation


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