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Universal Forest Products (UFPI)

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Universal Forest Products' (UFPI) third quarter 2012 results were weak as earnings per share at $0.28 fell short both of the year-ago earnings of $0.29 and the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.38. Canadian anti-dumping duty resulting in a $2.0 million pre-tax contingency loss impacted results immensely.

Considering the top line, double-digit growth was witnessed in four out of five end markets, but offset by higher lumber prices in the quarter to a large extent. These were the prime contributors to our recommendation downgrade from Neutral to Underperform.

Moreover, slowly reviving global economy along with significant volatility in the cost of commodity lumber products from primary producers are the prime causes of concern for Universal Forest. Further, Universal's precarious dependence on general market conditions heightens top-line risks in the event of any adverse condition.

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