Weyerhaeuser Company reported today net earnings of $99 million for the first quarter, or 18 cents per diluted share, on net sales of $1.6 billion. This is a decrease when compared to the net earnings of $171 million reported in the fourth quarter of 2010.

However, first quarter’s numbers are up when compared to a year earlier when the company announced it had a net loss of $20 million on net sales of $1.4 billion.
Earnings for the first quarter of 2011 include an after-tax gain of $96 million on the previously announced sale of 82,000 acres of non-strategic timberlands in southwest Washington. Excluding this special item, the company reported net earnings of $3 million. This compares to a net loss before special items of $15 million in the first quarter of 2010.

First quarter earnings before special items increased $33 million compared with fourth quarter, as strong export demand resulted in improved selling prices and volumes for western logs. Fee harvest volumes increased, resulting in lower per unit logging costs. However, these improvements were partially offset by higher fuel costs.