Wednesday

Bloomberg: Masco 4th Quarter Loss

Product and company news from Bloomberg: "Masco Corp., the maker of Behr paint and Delta faucets, posted its first loss in five years and is cutting about 8,000 jobs after a slump in the U.S. housing market. Masco also forecast 2007 profit lower than analysts anticipated."

"Masco will cut 16 percent of its workforce by the end of the first quarter, Chief Executive Officer Richard Manoogian said today on a conference call. Fewer purchases at Lowe's Cos. and Home Depot Inc. and the slowdown in new home construction, which accounts for 40 percent of Masco's sales, hurt revenue in the fourth quarter."

"Masco said profit this year could be less than $1.50 or more than $1.80 a share, depending on new home construction, commodity prices and sales at home-improvement stores. The U.S. housing market fell 13 percent last year, the biggest decline since 1991."

"Sales in the fourth quarter fell 5.8 percent to $2.95 billion, the first decline in at least nine years, because of the new home construction slowdown, which hurt revenue from cabinets and installation services the hardest. Cabinet sales dropped about 12 percent and installation services fell 9 percent."

"Masco will raise prices this year to make up for higher raw- material costs such as brass and copper"