James Hardie (JHX) is a leading international building materials group that produces a wide range of fibre cement building materials used in the exterior and interior of residential and commercial buildings.
The company is also the largest seller of home siding (imitation wood) in the US, and produces fibre cement in the US, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines.
JHX and its sector peers have been one of the shares to sell in recent times, as the housing market at home and more so abroad has really struggled.
JHX’s US exposure thus caused the company headaches during these difficult times – JHX normally makes 75% of its earnings in the US.
On Friday, JHX reported a net loss of US$345.2 million in the nine months ending 31 December, 2010. This compares to a US$82.6 million loss a year earlier.
For the quarter, JHX posted a loss of US$26.4 million, which compares to a US$14.9 million profit in 3Q10. The result was impacted by significant asbestos related losses related to the stronger Australian dollar.
JHX said there is no evidence of housing sector recovery in the US, and it downgraded its full year guidance from the lower end of US110 – US$125 million to between US$105– US$115 million.