Louisiana-Pacific narrows loss

Louisiana-Pacific Corp., which owns an idled mill south of Thomasville, said Wednesday that it lost $49 million in the fourth quarter, much better than the $341 million it lost in the same period of 2008, when it took large write-offs.

Louisiana-Pacific.JPGView full sizeThe shuttered Louisiana-Pacific Corp oriented strand board (OSB) mill south of Thomasville, Ala., in Clarke County is shown Monday, July 13, 2009. The mill closed in 2008, laying off 130 people. 

The Nashville, Tenn., firm lost $121 million for the year, better than the $579 million it lost in 2008.

The firm lost 40 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected a quarterly loss of 19 cents per share.

Production of oriented strand board, the plywood substitute made by the Thomasville mill, rose 11 percent in the quarter. However, Louisiana-Pacific decided to permanently close OSB mills in Athens, Ga., and Silsbee, Texas, that it had earlier idled.

The company has said it still intends to reopen the 130-worker Clarke County mill, which can make more than 700 million square feet a year of OSB at full capacity.