Your Weekly Market Blip 5/1/20

Your Weekly Market Blip 5/1/20

Stocked ended the week lower with the Dow falling 622 points at 23,723. Trading volume was off significantly across the board. Stocks fell after Amazon’s earnings missed estimates plus investors were concerned over rising tensions with China after the White House expressed growing frustration over Beijing’s lack of transparency regarding the origins of the coronavirus.
Timber companies reported earnings this week. Weyerhaeuser reported revenue up 5% and net income up 64%. These results were due to a strong start of the year but the virus changed all that and on the call CEO and head logger Devin Stockfish said the company was going to hunker down, preserve cash, cut the dividend and curtail production. Shares fell on the news.
Timber firm Rayonier also reported a strong start to the year but is taking a different approach than Weyerhaeuser and will continue scheduled operations. Revenue was up 35% while net income gained 5%. The company finalized its purchase of Pope Resources at the end of March and sold some land in conjunction with the acquisition. The company increased its liquidity but plans to continue operations since they sell pulp logs that make tissue paper!
Spokane based Potlatch reported better than expected earnings but temporarily halted production for two weeks at its plywood mill in Idaho while keeping its other mills going. The company posted a 15% increase in revenue and a 175% increase in profits. Potlatch cited good product demand and said some locations were having to add overtime shifts.
The privately owned Cosmo Specialty Fibers pulp mill in Cosmopolis just outside of Aberdeen, WA announced it would suspend operations for 90 days and lay off 200 workers. The mill makes fibers used in the clothing industry and the global slowdown has affected demand to the point that management decided a temporary shutdown was needed.

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