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Earnings fall 3 percent at Plum Creek Timber

Plum Creek Timber, a Seattle-based wood products company, said second-quarter earnings were down 3.2 percent to $60 million from $62 million last year. Sales were up 4 percent to $395 million from $380 million in the same period last year.

The company cut its outlook for the rest of the fiscal year, following a lower-than-expected first- and second-quarter performance and a housing market the company expects will be “relatively flat” for the rest of 2007.

“While pulpwood markets remain healthy, sawlog markets continue to bounce along the bottom,” explained president and CEO Rick Holley.

Log prices are expected to be fairly stable across North America, the company said, with any price movements driven by temporary changes in local supply and demand.

In the third quarter, the company said it expects a stronger market in its manufactured wood segment, because of strong pricing and demand for medium density fiberboard (MDF) and improved specialty plywood markets.

Plum Creek Timber owns 8.2 million acres of timberlands in major timber producing regions of the United States, with 10 wood products manufacturing facilities in the Northwest.