• Large employers report boost in quarterly earnings

  • Three companies with large payrolls in Jackson County reported solid earnings during the second quarter.
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  • Three companies with large payrolls in Jackson County reported solid earnings during the second quarter.
    Boise Cascade Co. Thursday reported second-quarter net income of $26.4 million, or 67 cents per share, on revenue of $961.2 million.
    The Boise, Idaho-based plywood and engineered wood products manufacturer operates two plants in White City and one in Medford.
    The July 2014 Blue Chip consensus forecast for 2014 reflects 1.04 million total U.S. housing starts, an expected 12 percent increase from 2013 levels, but still well below the historical average for the last 20 years of approximately 1.4 million starts per year, Boise said.
    With improving weather during the second quarter, house building, repair and remodel activity regained momentum.
    "We generated good sales volume growth in engineered wood products and our distribution business," CEO Tom Carlile said during a conference call. "While plywood prices declined compared to last year's second quarter, pricing remains favorable, and we saw improved pricing sequentially on essentially all of our manufactured products."
    Boise expects demand to remain below 20-year average historical levels for its products, but sees it picking up beyond next year.
    "We believe demographics in the U.S. support 1.4 million to 1.5 million annual starts in the years ahead," said Carlile, adding maintenance and capital spending will improve the company's efficiency.
    "The tone is good as we start the third quarter," he said. "The pace is a little slower than we expected, but we're still on track for a million starts this year, with 1.2 million starts in 2015."
    Alaska Air Group reported second quarter net income of $165 million, or $1.19 per share, up from $104 million, or 74 cents per share during a similar period in 2013.
    The parent company of Horizon Air, the predominant carrier at the Medford airport, reported a 9 percent increase in second quarter revenue to $1.375 billion, or slightly better than analysts' expectations.
    Alaska said it recorded $54 million of incentive pay through the first six months of 2014, with employees earning at least $550 by meeting or exceeding monthly customer satisfaction and operational performance goals and tracking to earn above-target payouts for full-year goals.
    Umpqua Holdings, the parent company of Umpqua Bank, reported second-quarter net earnings of $17.1 million, or 9 cents per share, compared with a net of $26.1 million, or 23 cents per share, a year ago.
    Deposits grew by $189 million.
    Operating profit, excluding merger-related expenses from its acquisition and sale of some branches of Sterling Bank, grew to $53.9 million, or 27 cents per share, versus $26.9 million, or 24 cents per share, a year ago.
    Through six months of 2014, Umpqua showed a profit of $35.8 million, or 23 cents per share, down 27 percent from the first six months of last year.
    Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or business@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregMTBusiness, friend him on Facebook and read his blog at www.mailtribune.com/EconomicEdge.
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