USG Corp.’s first-quarter loss widens

Posted April 20, 2010 at 12:11 p.m.

Dow Jones Newswires | USG Corp.’s first-quarter loss widened as all of its units posted
sales drops amid a tough homebuilding market.

The maker of gypsum wallboard, ceiling grid and other building materials
has suffered along with its peers in the global recession as
residential foreclosures and inventories mount, home prices decline and
lending standards remain tight. The company has trimmed costs in
response but expects a challenging 2010.

The loss for the most recent quarter was $110 million, or $1.10 a share, compared with $42 million, or 42 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue decreased 17% to $716 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters forecast a 93-cent loss on $730 million in revenue.

Gross margin fell to 2% from 5.6% amid the sales woes.

The company’s North American gypsum business, its biggest arm, saw sales decline 11% as the average price for its sheetrock wallboard decreased.

The stock closed at $19.18 Monday after more than doubling in the past 12 months. Shares were inactive in pre-market trading.


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