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USG > SEC Filings for USG > Form 10-Q on 24-Apr-2014All Recent SEC Filings

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Form 10-Q for USG CORP


24-Apr-2014

Quarterly Report


ITEM 2. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
In the following Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, "USG," "we," "our" and "us" refer to USG Corporation, a Delaware corporation, and its subsidiaries included in the consolidated financial statements, except as otherwise indicated or as the context otherwise requires.
Overview
SEGMENTS
We are a leading manufacturer and distributor of building materials. We produce a wide range of products for use in new residential, new nonresidential, and residential and nonresidential repair and remodel construction as well as products used in certain industrial processes. We estimate that during the first three months of 2014:
• residential and nonresidential repair and remodel activity accounted for approximately 48% of our net sales,

• new residential construction accounted for approximately 27% of our net sales,

• new nonresidential construction accounted for approximately 23% of our net sales, and

• other activities accounted for approximately 2% of our net sales.

Our operations are organized into three reportable segments: North American Gypsum, Worldwide Ceilings and Building Products Distribution.
North American Gypsum: North American Gypsum manufactures and markets gypsum and related products in the United States, Canada and Mexico. It includes United States Gypsum Company, or U.S. Gypsum, in the United States, the gypsum business of CGC Inc., or CGC, in Canada, and USG Mexico, S.A. de C.V., or USG Mexico. North American Gypsum's products are used in a variety of building applications to finish the walls, ceilings and floors in residential, commercial and institutional construction and in certain industrial applications. Its major product lines include SHEETROCK® brand gypsum wallboard, a line of joint compounds used for finishing wallboard joints also sold under the SHEETROCK® brand name, DUROCK® brand cement board, FIBEROCK® brand gypsum fiber panels and SECUROCK® brand glass mat sheathing used for building exteriors and gypsum fiber and glass mat panels used as roof cover board.
Worldwide Ceilings: Worldwide Ceilings manufactures and markets interior systems products in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Latin America, and, through February 27, 2014, in the Asia-Pacific region (see paragraph below regarding USG Boral Buildings Products). Worldwide Ceilings includes USG Interiors, LLC, or USG Interiors, the international interior systems business managed as USG International, and the ceilings business of CGC. Worldwide Ceilings is a leading supplier of interior ceilings products used primarily in commercial applications. Worldwide Ceilings manufactures ceiling tile in the United States and ceiling grid in the United States, Canada and, through February 27, 2014, in the Asia-Pacific region. It markets ceiling tile and ceiling grid in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Latin America and, through February 27, 2014, in the Asia-Pacific region. It also manufactures and markets joint compound in Latin America and, through February 27, 2014, in the Asia-Pacific region. As further described below under Equity Method Investments, on February 27, 2014, we invested with Boral Limited ("Boral") in a 50/50 joint venture ("USG Boral Building Products" or "UBBP"), and in connection therewith contributed to UBBP our operations in the Asia-Pacific region. UBBP is accounted for as an equity method investment and not included in our segment results. As such, Worldwide Ceilings includes the results and activities of our subsidiaries in the Asia-Pacific region only through February 27, 2014.
Building Products Distribution: Building Products Distribution consists of L&W Supply Corporation and its subsidiaries, or L&W Supply, the leading distributor of gypsum wallboard and other building materials in the United States. It is a service-oriented business that stocks a wide range of construction materials. It delivers less-than-truckload quantities of construction materials to job sites and places them in areas where work is being done, thereby reducing the need for handling by contractors.
Geographic Information: For the first three months of 2014, approximately 82% of our net sales were attributable to the United States, Canada accounted for approximately 10% and other foreign countries accounted for the remaining 8%.


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Equity Method Investments: In line with our strategy to diversify our earnings, on February 27, 2014, we and certain of our subsidiaries formed a 50/50 joint venture, UBBP, with Boral and certain of its subsidiaries. UBBP manufactures, distributes and sells certain building products, mines raw gypsum and sells natural and synthetic gypsum throughout Asia, Australasia and the Middle East (the "Territory"). The products that UBBP manufactures and distributes include products for wall, ceiling, floor lining and exterior systems that utilize gypsum, wallboard, mineral fiber ceiling tiles, steel grid and studs and joint compound.
As consideration for our 50% ownership in UBBP, we (i) made a $513 million cash payment to Boral, which includes a $500 million base price and $13 million of customary estimated working capital and net debt adjustments, (ii) contributed to UBBP our subsidiaries and joint venture investments in China, Singapore, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia, the Middle East and Oman, and (iii) we granted to UBBP licenses to use certain of our intellectual property rights in the Territory. We funded our cash payment with the net proceeds from our October 2013 issuance of $350 million of 5.875% senior notes and cash on hand. In the event certain performance targets are satisfied by UBBP, we will be obligated to pay Boral scheduled earnout payments in an aggregate amount up to $75 million, comprised of $25 million based on performance during the first three years after closing and up to $50 million based on performance during the first five years after closing. The cash portion of the consideration paid to Boral remains subject to customary post-closing adjustments.
UBBP is targeting the distribution of 50% of combined after tax profits to USG and Boral in proportion to the respective ownership interests; provided, however, that UBBP will not pay dividends if such payments are, among other things, restricted pursuant to the terms of the credit facilities maintained by UBBP, inconsistent with the then-applicable strategic plan, or illegal. The amount and timing of any distribution is currently unknown.
UBBP is operated in accordance with the terms of a shareholders' agreement. From February 27, 2014 through March 31, 2014, UBBP was funded from its net cash flow from operations and third-party financing, and it is our intent that as an ongoing operation, UBBP will continue to self-fund.
Our subsidiaries in Singapore, India, Malaysia, New Zealand and Australia and our consolidated joint ventures in Oman were contributed to UBBP. As a result of our contribution of these entities on February 27, 2014, the net sales and operating profit attributable to these entities will no longer be included in those corresponding line items on our consolidated statement of operations on a going forward basis. Instead, our share of the equity income from UBBP is shown separately within income from equity method investments.
Our investment in UBBP is accounted for as an equity method investment and was initially measured at cost. Our existing wholly-owned subsidiaries and consolidated variable interest entities that were contributed into the joint venture were deconsolidated, which resulted in a gain of $27 million during the first quarter of 2014. Our investment in UBBP consummated on February 27, 2014, and as a result, our share of one month of equity income from UBBP is included in our accompanying Consolidated Statement of Operations for the three months ended March 31, 2014.
MARKET CONDITIONS AND OUTLOOK
Our businesses are cyclical in nature and sensitive to changes in general economic conditions, including, in particular, conditions in the North American housing and construction-based markets, which are our most significant markets. The markets we serve can be broadly categorized as new residential construction, new nonresidential construction and repair and remodel activity, which includes both residential and nonresidential construction.
For the new residential construction market, housing starts are a very good indicator of demand for our gypsum products. Installation of our gypsum products typically follows the start of construction by one to two months. In March 2014, the seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of housing starts was reported by the U.S. Census Bureau to have increased to 946,000 units, compared to 920,000 units reported for February 2014 and 903,000 units reported for January 2014. In comparison, the seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of housing starts for December 2013 was 1,048,000 units. Industry analysts believe that the recovery in new residential construction will continue, although the recovery over the next few years may be uneven and modest, and that over the longer term housing starts will begin to reach historical averages. Industry analysts' forecasts for 2014 housing starts in the United States included in the most recent Blue Chip Economic Indicators are 990,000 to 1,200,000 units, based on the average of the bottom ten and top ten forecasts included in the report, respectively. We currently estimate that 2014 housing starts in the United States will be in the range of 1,000,000 to 1,100,000 units.


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Demand for our products from new nonresidential construction is determined by floor space for which contracts are signed. Installation of gypsum and ceilings products typically follows signing of construction contracts by about 12 to 18 months. According to McGraw-Hill Construction's most recent construction market forecast, total floor space for which new nonresidential construction contracts were signed in the United States increased 9% in 2013 compared with 2012. This followed a 10% increase in 2012 compared with 2011 and a 3% increase in 2011 compared with 2010. McGraw-Hill Construction forecasts that total floor space for which new nonresidential construction contracts in the United States are signed will increase approximately 12% in 2014 from the 2013 level. McGraw-Hill's forecast includes several building types which do not generate significant demand for our products; therefore, we anticipate new nonresidential construction growth in our business sectors in 2014 compared to 2013 will be in the mid-single digits.
The repair and remodel market includes renovation of both residential and nonresidential buildings. As a result of the low levels of new home construction in recent years, this market currently accounts for the largest portion of our sales. Many buyers begin to remodel an existing home within two years of purchase. According to the National Association of Realtors, sales of existing homes in the United States increased to approximately 5.09 million units in 2013, the highest level since 2006, reflecting a 9.2% increase from the 2012 level of 4.66 million units. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of existing home sales was 4.59 million units in March 2014. This was essentially flat compared to the February 2014 rate of 4.60 million units, and 7.5% lower than the March 2013 rate of 4.96 million units. Although sales of existing homes in 2014 softened, the generally rising levels of existing home sales and home resale values in recent years have contributed to an increase in demand for our products from the residential repair and remodel market. We currently estimate that overall repair and remodel spending growth in 2014, compared to 2013, will be in the mid-single digits.
However, the rate of recovery in the new residential construction market, new nonresidential construction market and the repair and remodel market still remains uncertain and will depend on broader economic issues such as employment, foreclosures, house price trends, availability of mortgage financing, interest rates, income tax policy, consumer confidence, lease turnover rates, discretionary business investment, job growth and governmental building-related expenditures.
As discussed above, UBBP manufactures, distributes and sells certain building products, mines raw gypsum and sells natural and synthetic gypsum throughout Asia, Australasia and the Middle East. As of December 2012, the weighted-average GDP annual growth rate for the markets served by UBBP, as reported by the World Bank, was approximately 6%. The residential and commercial construction compounded annual growth rate across Asia is projected to be over 5% through 2018 as reported by IHS Global Construction Outlook in January 2014. The housing and construction-based markets we serve are affected by economic conditions, the availability of credit, lending practices, interest rates, the unemployment rate and consumer confidence. An increase in interest rates, high levels of unemployment, restrictive lending practices, a decrease in consumer confidence or other adverse economic conditions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, operating results and cash flows. Our businesses are also affected by a variety of other factors beyond our control, including the inventory of unsold homes, the level of foreclosures, home resale rates, housing affordability, office and retail vacancy rates and foreign currency exchange rates. Since we operate in a variety of geographic markets, our businesses are subject to the economic conditions in each of these geographic markets. General economic downturns or localized downturns or financial concerns in the regions where we have operations may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Industry shipments of gypsum board in the United States (including gypsum wallboard, other gypsum-related paneling products and imports), as reported by the Gypsum Association, were an estimated 4.43 billion square feet in the first three months of 2014, up approximately 4% compared with 4.28 billion square feet in the first three months of 2013. We estimate that industry shipments in the United States for all of 2014 will be approximately 23 billion, up approximately 10% from 20.9 billion square feet in 2013.


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U.S. Gypsum shipped 1.15 billion square feet of SHEETROCK® brand gypsum wallboard in the first three months of 2014, a 4% increase from 1.11 billion square feet in the first three months of 2013. U.S. Gypsum's share of the gypsum board market in the United States (which includes for comparability its shipments of SHEETROCK® brand gypsum wallboard, FIBEROCK® brand gypsum fiber panels and SECUROCK® brand glass mat sheathing), based on industry shipments as reported by the Gypsum Association, was approximately 27% in the first quarter of 2014, compared to 27% in the first quarter of 2013, and 25% in the fourth quarter of 2013.
There is excess wallboard production capacity industry-wide in the United States. Industry capacity in the United States was approximately 32.7 billion square feet as of January 1, 2014. We estimate that the industry capacity utilization rate was approximately 54% during the first three months of 2014 compared to 52% during the first three months of 2013, and 73% in the fourth quarter of 2013. Based on current industry trends and forecasts, demand for gypsum wallboard is expected to increase in 2014, but the magnitude of any increase will be dependent primarily on the levels of housing starts and repair and remodel activity. We project that the industry capacity utilization rate over the balance of 2014 will improve commensurate with rising demand. Despite our realization of improvement in our average wallboard selling price, we could experience pressure on gypsum wallboard selling prices and our gross margins at such low levels of capacity utilization. In early 2014, as it did in 2013 and 2012, U.S. Gypsum implemented a price increase for wallboard with the new not to exceed price being set for the year. However, it is uncertain that we will be able to maintain the increase in our gypsum wallboard selling prices. If we are unable to maintain our prices increases, our net sales and operating profit may be materially and adversely impacted.

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