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PW Eagle 4th quarter sales down 36 percent.

Byline: Sherri Buri McDonald The Register-Guard

PW Eagle Inc. on Thursday reported weaker financials in the fourth quarter compared with the same quarter a year earlier. But profit and sales for all of 2006 were up from 2005.

The Eugene-based plastic pipe maker reported sales of $137 million for the quarter that ended Dec. 31, down 36 percent over the same period a year ago.

Profit for the quarter was $3.2 million, or 26 cents per share, compared with $39.1 million, or $3.56 per share, a year ago

"As anticipated, we experienced a decrease in our financial performance during the fourth quarter," chief executive Jerry Dukes said in a statement.

Demand fell more than it usually does in the fourth quarter because distributors were letting their inventories dwindle in anticipation of pipe prices bottoming out, the statement said.

PVC resin prices also plunged during the quarter. PVC pipe prices fell faster than prices of its key ingredient, PVC resin, which resulted in lower gross margins, the statement said.

For the full year of 2006, PW Eagle reported profit of $60.7 million, or $5.02 per share, compared with $47 million, or $4.65 per share, for 2005. Sales in 2006 were $714.1 million, up three percent from $694.2 million in '05.

Last month, PW Eagle announced that J-M Manufacturing Co., a New Jersey-based competitor, planned to buy the company in a deal valued at $400 million.

The transaction is expected to close this spring.

It is unclear how the deal might affect PW Eagle's 60-employee Glenwood production plant, or its 50-employee corporate headquarters near Valley River Center.

PW Eagle's stock, which trades under the symbol PWEI on the Nasdaq, closed at $33.10 per share on Thursday, down one cent from the previous day.
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Title Annotation:Business; But overall 2006 sales and profits at the pipe maker were up from a year earlier
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Financial report
Date:Feb 16, 2007
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