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Weyerhaeuser Reports Q4 Earnings of $126 Million, Net Sales of $4.7 Billion

Press release from the issuing company

FEDERAL WAY, Wash.--Jan. 22, 2003--Weyerhaeuser Company today reported net earnings for the fourth quarter of $126 million, or 57 cents per share, which includes the net benefit of unusual after-tax items of $38 million, or 16 cents per share. This compares with a loss of $15 million, or 7 cents per share, for the same period last year. Last year's fourth quarter net earnings included unusual after-tax charges of $20 million, or 9 cents per share, associated with the closure of three wood products facilities. For the full year, Weyerhaeuser reported net earnings of $241 million, or $1.09 per share, including unusual after tax charges of $55 million, or 25 cents, on net sales of $18.5 billion. This compares with net earnings of $354 million, or $1.61 per share, including unusual after tax charges of $57 million, or 26 cents per share, on net sales of $14.5 billion for 2001. The unusual items for the fourth quarter 2002 include: * $65 million after tax, or 29 cents per share, gain on the sale of timberlands in Washington state, net of costs associated with the sale and the closure of related Wood Products and Timberlands operations. * $26 million after tax, or 11 cents per share, benefit from insurance proceeds covering business disruption costs at the Plymouth, N.C., paper facility for previous quarters. The facility resumed normal operation in the third quarter. * $23 million after tax, or 10 cents per share, charge for the termination of the former MacMillan Bloedel pension plan for U.S. employees. * $19 million after tax, or 9 cents per share, cost associated with the acquisition and integration of Willamette Industries. Weyerhaeuser said it continues to make progress on capturing synergies following the Willamette acquisition. At the end of the fourth quarter, Weyerhaeuser estimates it has achieved an annualized run rate of $184 million in pretax synergies. The company is confident it will achieve $300 million in pretax annual synergies by the end of first quarter 2005. * $15 million after tax, or 7 cents per share, net charge associated with the closure of other facilities. * $4 million, or 2 cents per share, after-tax net reduction in depreciation resulting from an adjustment to the preliminary purchase price allocation for the Willamette acquisition. In addition, Weyerhaeuser incurred approximately $26 million in countervailing and anti-dumping duties, and related costs on Canadian softwood lumber the company imports into the United States. During 2002, the company incurred approximately $64 million in countervailing and anti-dumping duties, and related costs. "We're delighted with how well our employees worked to bring two great companies together to create a strong foundation for the future," said Steven R. Rogel, chairman, president and chief executive officer. "During the fourth quarter, our Pulp and Paper, and Containerboard, Packaging and Recycling businesses produced improved operating results in difficult markets. Strong residential construction continues to drive excellent performance in our Real Estate business and demand for timber. Wood Products, however, continues to be a problem due to oversupplied markets and the uncertainty created by the Canadian softwood lumber issue. "While the timing and strength of an economic recovery remains uncertain, Weyerhaeuser is well positioned to benefit from an economic recovery due to our efforts to reduce costs, rationalize production capacity, increase operating efficiency, and improve our service to customers," Rogel said.