Thursday, July 24, 2008

US Concrete cuts 2Q profit outlook

U.S. Concrete Inc., which makes ready-mixed concrete and other building supplies, on Tuesday cut its second quarter profit guidance, citing a jump in raw material costs and a tough sales environment.

The company said it now expects to post a profit from continuing operations of about 8 cents or 9 cents per share, down from its previous projection of 10 cents to 16 cents per share.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expect a profit of 14 cents per share for the quarter.

The company said ready-mixed concrete sales volumes began to fall below expectations beginning in May, resulting in an about nine percent volume shortfall and lower profitability.

The average ready-mixed concrete selling price rose 2.6 percent, but the raw materials spread fell as a result of higher aggregate and diesel fuel costs, the company said.

U.S. Concrete added that it expects quarterly drops in demand for the rest of the year.

In premarket trading Tuesday, shares of U.S. Concrete fell 21 cents, or 3.8 percent, to $5.37.

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