SYDNEY Feb 27 Australian building materials
group James Hardie on Wednesday cut its forecast for
full-year earnings due to uncertain housing market conditions in
the United States, after reporting a 3 percent rise in its
third-quarter net profit.
James Hardie, the world's largest manufacturer of fibre
cement products, revised its earnings forecast to a range of
$136 million to $141 million for the year ending March, compared
to its 2012 full-year profit of $142.8 million.
It had said in November it expected its 2013 profit to come
in a range from $140 million to $150 million
"Management cautions that housing market conditions remain
uncertain and some input costs remain volatile," the company
said in a statement.
The company, which earns two-thirds of its revenue in the
United States and Europe, saw its shares rise 0.9 percent to
A$9.44 in volatile mid-morning trade.
James Hardie posted a $28.8 million net operating profit,
excluding asbestos and tax adjustments, for the three months to
December 2012, compared with $28.0 million a year ago.
The result was below the average forecast of $32.4 by three
analysts, according to Thomson Reuters data.
James Hardie's results came after the U.S. Commerce
Department said sales of new U.S. single-family homes jumped
15.6 percent to a 4-1/2 year high in January, raising hopes that
the U.S. housing market was recovering.
On Tuesday, the world's largest home improvement chain Home
Depot Inc posted better-than-expected earnings, helped by
a recovering housing market.