Weyerhaeuser Company 10-K 2011
Documents found in this filing:
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
[X] ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(D) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2010
[ ] TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(D) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
FOR THE TRANSITION PERIOD FROM TO
COMMISSION FILE NUMBER 1-4825
A WASHINGTON CORPORATION
(IRS EMPLOYER IDENTIFICATION NO.)
FEDERAL WAY, WASHINGTON 98063-9777 TELEPHONE (253) 924-2345
SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(B) OF THE ACT:
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. [X] Yes [ ] No
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. [ ] Yes [X] No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. [X] Yes [ ] No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Website, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). [X] Yes [ ] No
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§ 229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrants knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. [X]
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of large accelerated filer, accelerated filer and smaller reporting company in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer [X] Accelerated filer [ ] Non-accelerated filer [ ] Smaller reporting company [ ]
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). [ ] Yes [X] No
As of June 30, 2010, the aggregate market value of the registrants common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was $6,289,093,380 based on the closing sale price as reported on the New York Stock Exchange Composite Price Transactions.
As of February 4, 2011, 536,242,106 shares of the registrants common stock ($1.25 par value) were outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the Notice of 2011 Annual Meeting of Shareholders and Proxy Statement for the companys Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held April 14, 2011, are incorporated by reference into Part II and III.
WEYERHAEUSER COMPANY > 2010 ANNUAL REPORT AND FORM 10-K
We are a forest products company that grows and harvests trees, builds homes and makes a range of forest products essential to everyday lives. Our goal is to do this safely, profitably and responsibly. We are committed to operate as a sustainable company in the 21st Century. We focus on increasing energy and resource efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing water consumption, conserving natural resources, and offering products that meet human needs with superior sustainability attributes. We operate with world class safety results, understand and address the needs of the communities in which we operate, and present ourselves transparently.
We have offices or operations in 10 countries and have customers worldwide. We manage 20.5 million acres of forests, of which we own 5.8 million acres, lease 0.7 million acres and have renewable, long-term licenses on 14 million acres. In 2010, we generated $6.6 billion in net sales.
This portion of our Annual Report and Form 10-K provides detailed information about who we are, what we do and where we are headed. Unless otherwise specified, current information reported in this Form 10-K is as of the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010.
We break out financial information such as revenues, earnings and assets by the business segments that form our company. We also discuss the development of our company and the geographic areas where we do business.
We report our financial condition in two groups:
Throughout this Form 10-K, unless specified otherwise, references to we, our, us and the company refer to the consolidated company, including both Forest Products and Real Estate.
We meet the information-reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by filing periodic reports, proxy statements and other information with the Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC). These reports and statements information about our companys business, financial results and other matters are available at:
When we file the information electronically with the SEC, it also is added to our Internet site.
WHO WE ARE
We started out as Weyerhaeuser Timber Company, incorporated in the state of Washington in January 1900, when Frederick Weyerhaeuser and 15 partners bought 900,000 acres of timberland.
REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST (REIT) CONVERSION
Our board of directors has determined that conversion to a REIT best supports our strategic direction. For tax purposes, this change was effective January 1, 2010. To implement our decision to be taxed as a REIT, we distributed to our shareholders our accumulated earnings and profits, determined under federal income tax provisions as a Special Dividend on September 1, 2010.
As a REIT, we expect to derive most of our REIT income from investments in timberlands, including the sale of standing timber through pay-as-cut sales contracts. REIT income can be distributed to shareholders without first paying corporate level tax, substantially eliminating the double taxation on income. A significant portion of our timberland segment earnings will receive this favorable tax treatment. We will, however, be subject to corporate taxes on built-in-gains (the excess of fair market value over tax basis at January 1, 2010) on sales of real property (other than standing timber) held by the REIT during the first 10 years following the REIT conversion. We also will continue to be required to pay federal corporate income taxes on earnings of our Taxable REIT Subsidiary (TRS), which principally includes our manufacturing businesses, our real estate development business and our non-qualified timberland segment income.
More information about our REIT conversion is in Note 2: Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Conversion in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, as well as in the Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
OUR BUSINESS SEGMENTS
In the Consolidated Results section of Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, you will find our overall performance results for our business segments:
Detailed financial information about our business segments and our geographic locations is in Note 3: Business Segments and Note 22: Geographic Areas in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, as well as in this section and in the Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
CURRENT MARKET CONDITIONS
The U.S. economy has gradually begun its recovery from the most severe recession since the 1930s. However, the U.S. housing market continues to lag other sectors in the recovery and remains burdened by excess inventory and a diminished pool of qualified home buyers. The health of the U.S. housing market strongly affects our Real Estate, Wood Products and Timberlands segments. Real Estate focuses on building single family homes. Wood Products primarily sells into the new residential building and repair and remodel markets. Demand for logs from our Timberlands segment is affected by the production of wood-based building products. Cellulose Fibers is primarily affected by global demand and the value of the U.S. dollar.
COMPETITION IN OUR MARKETS
We operate in highly competitive domestic and foreign markets, with numerous companies selling similar products. Many of our products also face competition from substitutes for wood and wood-fiber products. In real estate development, our competitors include numerous regional and national firms. We compete in our markets primarily through price, product quality and service levels.
Our business segments competitive strategies are as follows:
SALES OUTSIDE THE U.S.
In 2010, $2.1 billion 32 percent of our total consolidated sales and revenues were to customers outside the U.S. The table below shows sales outside the U.S. for the last three years.
We have approximately 14,250 employees. This number includes:
Of these employees, approximately 3,500 are members of unions covered by multi-year collective-bargaining agreements.
COMPARABILITY OF DATA
Over the last five years, we have made an acquisition to complement our key operations and have exited businesses that did not fit our long-term strategic direction. As you review our results for the past five years, it may be helpful to keep in mind the following acquisition and divestitures and the segments affected.
Summary of Recent Divestitures and Acquisition
Additional information related to our discontinued operations can be found in Note 4: Discontinued Operations in the Notes
to Consolidated Financial Statements. Information pertaining to segment comparability can be found in Note 3: Business Segments in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
WHAT WE DO
This section provides information about how we:
For each of our business segments, we provide details about what we do, where we do it, how much we sell and where we are headed.
Our Timberlands business segment manages 6.5 million acres of private commercial forestland worldwide. We own 5.8 million of those acres and lease the other 0.7 million acres. In addition, we have renewable, long-term licenses on 14.0 million acres of forestland located in four Canadian provinces. The tables presented in this section include data from this segments business units as of the end of 2010.
WHAT WE DO
Our Timberlands business segment:
Our goal is to maximize returns by selling logs and stumpage to internal and external customers. We focus on solid wood and use intensive silviculture to improve forest productivity and returns while managing our forests on a sustainable basis to meet customer and public expectations.
International operations in this segment consist principally of forest plantations, forest licenses and converting assets in South America. We serve as owners or managing partner in these operations, which are either wholly-owned subsidiaries or joint ventures. In China, we are the managing partner in a joint venture established in 2007. We own 51 percent of this joint venture and Fujian YongAn Forestry Company owns the remaining 49 percent. As of December 31, 2010, the joint venture managed 44,000 acres of timberlands.
Sustainable Forestry Practices
We are committed to responsible environmental stewardship wherever we operate, managing forests to produce financially mature timber while protecting the ecosystem services they provide. Our working forests include places with unique environmental, cultural, historical or recreational value. To protect their unique qualities, we follow regulatory requirements, voluntary standards and implement the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) standard. Independent auditing of all of the forests we own or manage in the United States and Canada certifies that we meet the SFI standard. Our forestlands in Uruguay are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified or managed to the developing Uruguayan national forestry management standard designed to meet the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
Canadian Forestry Operations
In Canada, we have licenses to operate forestlands that provide raw material for our manufacturing units in various provinces. When we harvest trees, we pay the provinces at stumpage rates set by the government and generally based on prevailing market prices. We do not generate any profit in the Timberlands segment from the harvest of timber from the licensed acres in Canada.
Other Values From Our Timberlands
In the United States, we actively manage mineral, oil and gas leases on our land and use geologic databases to identify and market opportunities for commercial mineral and geothermal development. We recognize leasing revenue over the terms of agreements with customers. Revenue primarily comes from:
In managing mineral resources, we generate revenue related to our ownership of the minerals and, separately, related to our ownership of the surface. The ownership of mineral rights and surface acres may be held by two separate parties. Materials that can be mined from the surface, and whose value comes from factors other than their chemical composition, typically belong to the surface owner. Examples of surface materials include rock, sand, gravel, dirt and topsoil. The mineral owner holds the title to commodities that derive value from their
unique chemical composition. Examples of mineral rights include oil, gas, coal (even if mined at the surface) and precious metals. If the two types of rights conflict, then mineral rights are generally superior to surface rights. A third type of land right is geothermal, which can belong to either the surface or mineral owner. We routinely reserve mineral and geothermal rights when selling surface timberlands acreage.
HOW WE MEASURE OUR PRODUCT
We report Timberlands data in cubic meters. Cubic meters measure the total volume of wood fiber in a tree or log that we can sell. Cubic meter volume is determined from the large- and small-end diameters and length and provides a more consistent and comparative measure of timber and log volume among operating regions, species, size and seasons of the year than other units of measure.
We also use two other units of measure when transacting business including:
Both measures are accurate in the regions where they are used, but they do not provide a meaningful basis for comparisons between the regions.
The conversion rate for MBF to cubic meters varies based on several factors including diameter, length and taper of the timber. The average conversion rate for MBF to cubic meters is approximately 6.7 cubic meters per MBF.
The conversion rate from green tons to cubic meters also varies based on the season harvested and the specific gravity of the wood for the region where the timber is grown. An average conversion rate for green tons to cubic meters is approximately 0.825 cubic meters per green ton.
WHERE WE DO IT
Our timberlands assets are located primarily in North America. In the U.S. we own and manage sustainable forests in nine states for use in wood products and pulp and paper manufacturing. We own or lease:
Our international operations are located primarily in Uruguay and China where, as of December 31, 2010, we own a total of 317,000 acres and have long-term leases on another 70,000 acres.
In addition, we have renewable, long-term licenses on 14.0 million acres of forestland owned by the provincial government of four Canadian provinces.
Our total timber inventory including timber on owned and leased land in our U.S. and international operations is approximately 303 million cubic meters. The timber inventory on licensed lands in Canada is approximately 371 million cubic meters. The amount of timber inventory does not translate into an amount of lumber or panel products because the quantity of end products:
The species, size and grade of the trees affects the relative value of our timberlands.
DISCUSSION OF OPERATIONS BY GEOGRAPHY
Summary of 2010 Timber Inventory and Timberland Locations
Western United States
Our Western acres are well situated to serve the wood product markets in Oregon and Washington. Their location near Weyerhaeuser mills and many third-party facilities allows for multiple sales opportunities. In addition, our location on the West Coast provides access to higher-value export markets for Douglas fir and hemlock logs in Japan, Korea and China. The size and quality of our Western timberlands, coupled with their proximity to several deep-water port facilities, positions us to meet the needs of Pacific Rim log markets.
Our lands are composed primarily of Douglas fir, a species highly valued for its structural strength. Our coastal lands also contain western hemlock and have a higher proportion of hemlock than our interior holdings. Our management systems, which provide us a competitive operating advantage, range from research and forestry, to technical planning models, mechanized harvesting and marketing and logistics.
The average age of timber harvested in 2010 was 50 years. Most of our U.S. timberland is intensively managed for timber production, but some areas are conserved for environmental, historical, recreational or cultural reasons. Some of our older trees are protected in acreage set aside for conservation, and some are not yet logged due to harvest rate regulations. While over the long term our average harvest age will decrease in accordance with our sustainable forestry practices, we will only harvest approximately 1.5 percent of our Western acreage each year.
Southern United States
Our Southern acres predominantly contain southern yellow pine and encompass timberlands in seven states. This area provides a constant year round flow of logs to a variety of internal and third-party customers. We sell grade logs to mills that manufacture a diverse range of products including lumber, plywood and veneer. We also sell chips and fiber logs to oriented strand board, pulp and paper mills. Our timberlands are well located to take advantage of road, logging and transportation systems for efficient delivery of logs to these customers.
We intensively manage our timber plantations using forestry research and planning systems to optimize grade log production. We also actively manage our land to capture revenues from our oil, gas and hard minerals resources. We do this while providing quality habitat for a range of animals and birds, which is in high demand for recreational purposes. We lease more than 95 percent of our acres to the public and state wildlife agencies for recreational purposes.
The average age of timber harvested in 2010 was 31 years for southern yellow pine. In accordance with our sustainable forestry practices, we harvest approximately 3.0 percent to 3.5 percent of our acreage each year in the South.
Our forestlands in Uruguay are approximately 51 percent loblolly pine and 49 percent eucalyptus. On average, the timber in Uruguay is in the first third of its rotation age. It is entering into that part of the growth rotation when we will see increased volume accretion. About 93 percent of the area to be planted has been afforested to date. The afforestation program is planned to be completed within the next two years.
In Uruguay, the target rotation ages are 21 to 22 years for pine and 14 to 17 years for eucalyptus. We manage both species to a grade (appearance) regime.
We also operate a plywood mill in Uruguay with a production capacity of 140,000 cubic meters and a production volume of 109,000 cubic meters reached in 2010. Construction to more than double this capacity is under way and is expected to be completed in April 2011.
In Brazil, Weyerhaeuser is a managing partner in a joint venture. We own 67 percent and Fibria Cellulose SA owns 33 percent. A hardwood sawmill with 65,000 cubic meters of capacity produces high-value eucalyptus (Lyptus®) lumber and related appearance wood products. The mills production in 2010 was 55,000 cubic meters.
Our investment in China is a joint venture with a public company that is controlled by the state and local governments. Weyerhaeuser is the managing partner in a joint venture started in 2007. Ownership is 51 percent Weyerhaeuser and 49 percent Fujian YongAn Forestry Company. The joint venture currently manages 44,000 acres of timberlands.
In China, the target rotation age is seven years, since we are managing the forests of loblolly pine and eucalyptus for fiber.
Canada Licensed Timberlands
We lease and license forestland in Canada from the provincial government to secure the volume for our manufacturing units in the various provinces. When the volume is harvested, we pay the province at stumpage rates set by the government and generally based on prevailing market prices. The harvested logs are transferred to our manufacturing facilities at cost (stumpage plus harvest, haul and overhead costs less any margin on selling logs to third parties). Any conversion profit is recognized at the respective mill in either the Cellulose Fibers or Wood Products segment.
Five-Year Summary of Timberlands Production
Our Timberlands annual fee depletion represents the harvest of the timber assets we own. Depletion is a method of expensing the cost of establishing the fee timber asset base over the harvest or timber sales volume. The decline in fee depletion from 2008 through 2010 reflects the companys decision to defer harvest and preserve the long-term value of the assets.
HOW MUCH WE SELL
Our net sales to unaffiliated customers over the last two years were:
Our intersegment sales over the last two years were:
Five-Year Summary of Net Sales for Timberlands
Five-Year Trend for Total Net Sales in Timberlands
Percentage of 2010 Sales to Unaffiliated Customers
Log Sales Volumes
Logs sold to unaffiliated customers in 2010 decreased approximately 106 thousand cubic meters 1 percent from 2009.
We sell three grades of logs domestic grade, domestic fiber and export. Factors that may affect log sales in each of these categories include:
Our sales volumes include logs purchased in the open market and all our domestic and export logs are sold to unaffiliated customers or transferred at market prices to our internal mills by the sales and marketing staff within our Timberlands business units.
Five-Year Summary of Log Sales Volumes to Unaffiliated Customers for Timberlands
The majority of our log sales to unaffiliated customers involves sales to the export market and to other domestic sawmills in the Pacific Northwest. Following is a five-year summary of selected export log prices.
Five-Year Summary of Selected Export Log Prices
(#2 Sawlog Bark On $/MBF)
Our log prices are affected by the supply of and demand for grade and fiber logs and are influenced by the same factors that affect log sales. Export log prices are particularly affected by the Japanese housing market.
Average 2010 log realizations in the West and South increased from 2009 primarily due to higher domestic log prices caused by the relative recovery in lumber prices during the year
as compared to 2009. Western export realizations also increased due to the demand of logs in the China market. Export prices driven by the China demand also influenced the higher Western domestic prices.
Minerals and Energy Products
Mineral revenue decreased in 2010 as recognition of leasing revenue was completed on some older leases and sales of producing oil and gas properties was limited. The decline was partially offset by increased oil and gas royalties as production from Haynesville Shale gas wells came on line. Overall royalties from construction aggregates increased slightly. Revenues from wind power and geothermal agreements remained the same from year-to-year, but the company entered into five new wind power agreements.
WHERE WERE HEADED
Our competitive strategies include:
In addition, we believe we will generate additional revenues from new products and services, such as wetland mitigation banking and conservation easements, and from participating in emerging carbon and energy markets.
We are a large manufacturer and distributor of wood products in North America and Asia.
WHAT WE DO
Our wood products segment:
WHERE WE DO IT
We operate manufacturing facilities in the United States and Canada. We distribute through a combination of Weyerhaeuser and third-party locations. Information about the locations, capacities and actual production of our manufacturing facilities is included below.
Principal Manufacturing Locations
Locations of our principal manufacturing facilities as of December 31, 2010, by major product group were:
Summary of 2010 Wood Products Capacities
In response to market conditions, we sold or closed a number of facilities and curtailed production at several other mills. The sales and closures include:
In addition to these sales and closures, we discontinued our contractual relationship with two southern lumber mills in 2010. We no longer produce lumber at Bogalusa, Louisiana and Silver Creek, Mississippi.
Five-Year Summary of Wood Products Production
HOW MUCH WE SELL
Revenues of our Wood Products business segment come from sales to wood products dealers, do-it-yourself retailers, builders and industrial users. We provide products and services to the residential construction market under the iLevel® brand. In 2010, Wood Products net sales were $2.6 billion, an increase of 16 percent, compared with $2.2 billion in 2009.
Five-Year Summary of Net Sales for Wood Products
Five-Year Trend for Total Net Sales in Wood Products
Percentage of 2010 Net Sales in Wood Products
Wood Products Volume
The volume of wood products sold in 2010 increased from 2009 primarily due to strong sales in second quarter 2010 as a result of the housing tax credit.
Five-Year Summary of Sales Volume for Wood Products
Wood Products Prices
Prices for wood products increased in 2010 from 2009.
In general, the following factors influence prices for wood products:
Demand for home construction fell dramatically from 2006 through 2009, with a corresponding drop in demand for the products that we produce and sell. This put significant and prolonged downward pressure on product prices. The following graphs reflect product price trends for the past five year period.
Five-Year Summary of Selected Published Lumber Prices $/MBF
Five-Year Summary of Selected Published Oriented Strand Board Prices $/MSF
WHERE WERE HEADED
Our competitive strategies include:
Our cellulose fibers segment is one of the worlds largest producers of absorbent fluff used in products such as diapers. We also manufacture liquid packaging board and other pulp products. We have a 50 percent interest in North Pacific Paper Corporation (NORPAC) a joint venture with Nippon Paper Industries that produces newsprint and high-brightness publication papers.
WHAT WE DO
Our cellulose fibers segment:
Cellulose Fibers Products
WHERE WE DO IT
Our cellulose fibers (pulp) products are distributed through a global direct sales network, and our liquid packaging products are sold directly to carton and food product packaging converters in North America and Asia. Locations of our principal manufacturing facilities by major product group are:
Summary of 2010 Cellulose Fibers Capacities
Five-Year Summary of Cellulose Fibers Production
HOW MUCH WE SELL
Revenues of our Cellulose Fibers segment come from sales to customers who use the products for further manufacturing or distribution and for direct use. Our net sales increased to $1.9 billion in 2010, or 26 percent, compared with $1.5 billion in 2009.
Five-Year Summary of Net Sales for Cellulose Fibers
Five-Year Trend for Total Net Sales in Cellulose Fibers
Percentage of 2010 Net Sales in Cellulose Fibers
Our sales volumes of cellulose fiber products were 1.7 million tons in 2010, 2009 and 2008.
Factors that affect sales volumes for cellulose fiber products include:
Five-Year Summary of Sales Volume for Cellulose Fibers
Our average pulp prices in 2010 increased compared with 2009 due to the:
Five-Year Summary of Selected Published Pulp Prices $/TON
WHERE WERE HEADED
Our competitive strategies include:
Our Real Estate business segment includes our wholly-owned subsidiary Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company (WRECO) and its subsidiaries.
WHAT WE DO
The Real Estate segment focuses on:
Real Estate Products and Activities
WHERE WE DO IT
Our operations are concentrated in metropolitan areas in Arizona, California, Maryland, Nevada, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
HOW MUCH WE SELL
We are one of the top 20 homebuilding companies in the United States as measured by annual single-family home closings.
Our revenues increased to $923 million in 2010, up 2 percent, compared with $904 million in 2009. This modest increase occurred despite slightly fewer home closings and challenging market conditions marked by low consumer confidence, high unemployment and continued downward pressure on pricing due to foreclosures.
The following factors affect revenues in our Real Estate business segment:
Five-Year Summary of Net Sales for Real Estate
Five-Year Trend for Total Net Sales in Real Estate
Percentage Breakdown of 2010 Net Sales in Real Estate
Five-Year Summary of Single-Family Unit Statistics
WHERE WERE HEADED
Our competitive strategies include:
WHAT WE DO
Our Corporate and Other segment includes certain gains or charges that are not related to an individual operating segment and transportation operations.
WHERE WE DO IT
Our transportation operations include our marine operations, which provide shipping between North America and Asia, and, until we sold them in December 2010, our railroad operations.
As part of our strategic restructuring of our international holdings, we:
HOW MUCH WE SELL
Sales and revenues for our Corporate and Other segment are primarily related to our marine transportation and discontinued international operations. In 2010, our net sales were $253 million compared with $165 million in 2009. The increase in revenues is primarily due to increased revenue in our transportation business during 2010.
Factors that affect revenues in our transportation operations include:
Five-Year Summary of Net Sales for Corporate and Other
Five-Year Trend for Total Net Sales in Corporate and Other
Catchlight Energy is Weyerhaeusers joint venture with Chevron, which is focused on the commercialization of liquid transportation fuels produced from conversion of forest-based material. During 2010, Catchlight was engaged in research and development work in the areas of sustainability, feedstock sourcing and scalability, and conversion technologies. Catchlight Energy also spent time developing relationships with selected technology partners. Results of Catchlight Energy are reported in the Corporate and Other segment.
NATURAL RESOURCE AND ENVIRONMENTAL MATTERS
Many social values are expressed in the laws and regulations that pertain to growing and harvesting timber. We participate in voluntary certification of our timberlands to assure that we sustain their values including the protection of wildlife and water quality. We are also subject to laws regulating forestry practices. Changes in law and regulation can significantly affect local or regional timber harvest levels and market values of timber-based raw materials.
ENDANGERED SPECIES PROTECTIONS
In the United States, a number of fish and wildlife species that inhabit geographic areas near or within our timberlands have been listed as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) or similar state laws, including:
Additional species or populations may be listed as threatened or endangered as a result of pending or future citizen petitions or petitions initiated by federal or state agencies.
Restrictions on our timber harvests result, or could result from:
Such actions also could increase our operating costs and affect timber supply and prices in general.
In Canada, the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) requires protective measures for species identified as being at risk and for critical habitat. Environment Canada announced a series of western science studies in 2010 that, with other landscape information, are designed to identify critical habitat. The identification and protection of habitat may, over time, result in additional restrictions on timber harvests and other forest management practices that could increase operating costs for operators of forestlands in Canada. To date these Canadian measures have not had, and in 2011 will not have, a significant effect on our harvesting operations. We anticipate that future measures will not disproportionally affect Weyerhaeuser as compared with comparable operations.
REGULATIONS AFFECTING FORESTRY PRACTICES
In the United States, regulations established by federal, state and local governments or agencies to protect water quality and wetlands could affect future harvests and forest management practices on some of our timberlands. Forest practice acts in some states in the United States that increasingly affect present or future harvest and forest management activities include:
Each state in which we own timberlands has developed best management practices to reduce the effects of forest practices on water quality and aquatic habitats. Additional and more stringent regulations may be adopted by various state and local governments to achieve water-quality standards under the federal Clean Water Act, protect fish and wildlife habitats, or achieve other public policy objectives.
In Canada, our forest operations are carried out on public forestlands under forest licenses. All forest operations are subject to:
On May 18, 2010, 21 member companies of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), including Weyerhaeusers Canadian subsidiary, announced the signing of a Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA) with nine environmental organizations. The CBFA applies to approximately 72 million hectares of public forests licensed to FPAC members and, when fully implemented, is expected to lead to the conservation of significant areas of Canadas boreal forest and protection of woodland caribou. CBFA signators are meeting with provincial governments, and aboriginal and local communities to seek their participation in advancing the goals of the CBFA. Progress under the CBFA will be measured by an independent auditor.
FOREST CERTIFICATION STANDARDS
We operate in North America under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative®. This is a certification standard designed to supplement government regulatory programs with voluntary landowner initiatives to further protect certain public resources and values. The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® is an independent standard, overseen by a governing board consisting of:
Compliance with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® may result in some increases in our operating costs and curtailment of our timber harvests in some areas.
WHAT THESE REGULATIONS AND CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS MEAN TO US
The regulatory and nonregulatory forest management programs described above have:
We believe that these kinds of programs have not had, and in 2011 will not have, a significant effect on the total harvest of timber in the United States or Canada. However, these kinds of programs may have such an effect in the future. We expect we will not be disproportionately affected by these programs as compared with typical owners of comparable timberlands. We also expect that these programs will not significantly disrupt our planned operations over large areas or for extended periods.
CANADIAN ABORIGINAL RIGHTS
Many of the Canadian forestlands are subject to the constitutionally protected treaty or common-law rights of aboriginal peoples of Canada. Most of British Columbia (B.C.) is not covered by treaties, and as a result the claims of B.C.s aboriginal peoples relating to forest resources are largely unresolved, although many aboriginal groups are engaged in treaty discussions with the governments of B.C. and Canada.
Final or interim resolution of claims brought by aboriginal groups is expected to result in:
We believe that such claims will not have a significant effect on our total harvest of timber or production of forest products in 2011, although they may have such an effect in the future. In 2008, FPAC, of which we are a member, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Assembly of First Nations, under which the parties agree to work together to strengthen Canadas forest sector through economic-development initiatives and business investments, strong environmental stewardship and the creation of skill-development opportunities particularly targeted to aboriginal youth.
Our operations are subject to various laws and regulations, including:
These laws and regulations, as well as market demands, impose controls with regard to:
Compliance with these laws, regulations and demands usually involves capital expenditures as well as additional operating costs. We cannot easily quantify the future amounts of capital expenditures we might have to make to comply with these laws, regulations and demands or the effects on our operating costs because in some instances compliance standards have not been developed or have not become final or definitive. In addition, it is difficult to isolate the environmental component of most manufacturing capital projects.
Our capital projects typically are designed to:
We estimate that our capital expenditures made primarily for environmental compliance were approximately $3 million in 2010 (approximately 1 percent of total capital expenditures). Based on our understanding of current regulatory requirements in the U.S. and Canada, we expect that capital expenditures for environmental compliance will be approximately $4 million in 2011 (approximately 2 percent of expected total capital expenditures).
We are involved in the environmental investigation or remediation of numerous sites. Of these sites, we may have the sole obligation to remediate or may share that obligation with one or more parties. In some instances, several parties have joint and several obligations to remediate. Some sites are Superfund sites where we have been named as a potentially responsible party. Our liability with respect to these various sites ranges from insignificant to substantial. The amount of liability depends on the quantity, toxicity and nature of materials at the site and depends on the number and economic viability of the other responsible parties.
We spent approximately $6 million in 2010 and expect to spend approximately $5 million in 2011 on environmental remediation of these sites.
It is our policy to accrue for environmental-remediation costs when we:
We currently believe it is reasonably possible that our costs to remediate all the identified sites may exceed our current accruals of $29 million. The excess amounts required may be insignificant or could range, in the aggregate, up to approximately $97 million over several years. This estimate of the upper end of the range of reasonably possible additional costs is much less certain than the estimates we currently are using to determine how much to accrue. The estimate of the upper range also uses assumptions less favorable to us among the range of reasonably possible outcomes.
REGULATION OF AIR EMISSIONS IN THE U.S.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had promulgated regulations for air emissions from:
These regulations cover:
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued decisions in 2007:
The EPA must promulgate:
Pending final action by the EPA, we expect:
We cannot currently quantify the amount of capital we will need in the future to comply with new regulations being developed by the EPA or Canadian environmental agencies because final rules have not been promulgated.
To comply with these regulations, we:
In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that greenhouse gases are pollutants that can be subject to regulation under the Clean Air Act. As a result, the EPA:
It is unclear what the effect of EPAs greenhouse gas regulations will be on our operations until final rules regarding biomass emissions are promulgated.
Additional factors that could affect greenhouse gas emissions in the future include:
It is not yet known when and to what extent these policy activities may come into force or how they may relate to each other in the future.
We believe these measures have not had, and in 2011 will not have, a significant effect on our operations, although they may have such an effect in the future. We expect we will not be disproportionately affected by these measures as compared with typical owners of comparable operations. We maintain an active forestry research program to track and understand any potential effect from actual climate change related parameters that could affect the forests we own and manage and do not anticipate any disruptions to our planned operations.
REGULATION OF AIR EMISSIONS IN CANADA
We participate in negotiations between the FPAC and Natural Resources Canada to define industry obligations for complying with Canadas national plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions over the next several years. FPAC continues to work with international, national and regional policy makers in their efforts to develop technically sound and economically viable policies, practices and procedures for measuring, reporting and managing greenhouse gas emissions.
The Canadian federal government:
Canadian provincial governments:
We believe these measures have not had, and in 2011 will not have, a significant effect on our operations, although they may have such an effect in the future. We expect we will not be disproportionately affected by these measures as compared with typical owners of comparable operations. We also expect that these measures will not significantly disrupt our planned operations.
POTENTIAL CHANGES IN POLLUTION REGULATION
State governments continue to promulgate total maximum daily load (TMDL) requirements for pollutants in water bodies that do not meet state or EPA water quality standards. State TMDL requirements may set limits on pollutants that may be discharged to a body of water or set additional requirements, such as best management practices for nonpoint sources, including timberland operations, to reduce the amounts of pollutants. It is not possible to estimate the capital expenditures that may be required for us to meet pollution allocations across the various proposed state TMDL programs until a specific TMDL is promulgated.
Various levels of government in Canada have started work to address water usage and quality issues. Regional watershed protection is increasing and appears to be a part of future water strategies across Canada. As part of our membership in the U.S. Business Roundtable S.E.E. Change (society, environment and economy) initiative, we established a goal in May 2008 to reduce water use at our cellulose fibers mills 20 percent by 2012, using a 2007 baseline. We achieved a 12.5 percent water use reduction in 2009 compared to our 2007 baseline.
This report contains statements concerning our future results and performance that are forward-looking statements according to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements:
Factors listed in this section as well as other factors not included may cause our actual results to differ from our forward-looking statements. There is no guarantee that any of the events anticipated by our forward-looking statements will occur. If any of the events occur, there is no guarantee what effect it will have on our operations or financial condition.
We will not update our forward-looking statements after the date of this report.
Some forward-looking statements discuss our plans, strategies and intentions. They use words such as expects, may, will, believes, should, approximately, anticipates, estimates and plans. In addition, these words may use the positive or negative or a variation of those terms.
We make forward-looking statements of our expectations regarding first quarter 2011, including:
In addition, we base our forward-looking statements on the expected effect of:
RISKS, UNCERTAINTIES AND ASSUMPTIONS
Major risks and uncertainties and assumptions that we make that affect our business include, but are not limited to:
We are a large exporter, affected by changes in:
We are subject to certain risks and events that, if one or more of them occur, could adversely affect our business, our financial condition, our results of operations and the trading price of our common stock.
You should consider the following risk factors, in addition to the other information presented in this report and the matters described in Forward-Looking Statements, as well as the other reports and registration statements we file from time to time with the SEC, in evaluating us, our business and an investment in our securities.
The risks below are not the only risks we face. Additional risks not currently known to us or that we currently deem immaterial also may adversely affect our business.
The industries in which we operate are sensitive to macroeconomic conditions and consequently highly cyclical.
The overall levels of demand for the products we manufacture and distribute and consequently our sales and profitability reflect fluctuations in levels of end-user demand, which depend in part on general macroeconomic conditions in North America and worldwide as well as on local economic conditions. Current economic conditions in the United States and the global economic downturn, combined with the decreased availability of credit and high foreclosure rates, has resulted in a continued weakness in the homebuilding industry (including the companys Real Estate business), increased inventories of available new homes, significant declines in home prices, loss of home-equity values and loss of consumer confidence and demand. Our Wood Products segment is highly dependent on the strength of the homebuilding industry and the weakness in that industry has resulted in depressed prices of and demand for wood products and building materials. This has been further reflected in declining prices and demand for logs and reduced harvests in our Timberland segment. The length and magnitude of industry cycles have varied over time and by product, but generally reflect changes in macroeconomic conditions. Consumer demand could continue to decline as a result of the current economic conditions, further adversely affecting our businesses.
Many of our products are commodities that are widely available from other producers.
Because commodity products have few distinguishing properties from producer to producer, competition for these products is based primarily on price, which is determined by supply relative to demand and competition from substitute products. Prices for our products are affected by many factors outside of our control, and we have no influence over the timing and extent of price changes, which often are volatile. Our profitability with respect to these products depends, in part, on managing our costs, particularly raw material and energy costs, which represent significant components of our operating costs and can fluctuate based upon factors beyond our control. Prices of and demand for many of our products have declined significantly in recent quarters, while many of our raw material or energy costs have increased. This has adversely affected both our sales and profitability.
Excess supply of products may adversely affect prices and margins.
Industry supply of logs, wood products and pulp is subject to changing macroeconomic and industry conditions that may cause producers to idle or permanently close individual machines or entire mills or to decrease harvest levels. To avoid substantial cash costs in connection with idling or closing a mill, some producers choose to continue to operate at a loss, which could prolong weak prices due to oversupply. Oversupply of products also may result from producers introducing new capacity or increasing harvest levels in response to favorable short-term pricing trends. Industry supplies of pulp also are influenced by overseas production capacity, which has grown in recent years and is expected to continue to grow. While the weakness of the U.S. dollar in recent years has improved the companys competitive position and mitigated the levels of imports, the recent strengthening of the U.S. dollar and decreases in demand for consumer products in emerging markets may result in increased imports of pulp from overseas, resulting in lower prices. Continuation of these factors could materially and adversely affect sales volumes and margins of our operations.
Continuing high foreclosure rates, low demand and low levels of consumer confidence could continue to adversely affect our sales volume, pricing and margins and result in further impairments.
Demand for homes is sensitive to changes in economic conditions such as the level of employment, consumer confidence, consumer income, the availability of financing and interest rate levels. During the period of 2007 through 2010, the mortgage industry experienced significant instability and increasing default rates, particularly with regard to subprime and other nonconforming loans. This caused many lenders to tighten credit requirements and reduce the number of mortgage loans available for financing home purchases. Demand for new homes also has been adversely affected by factors such as continued high unemployment, accelerating foreclosure rates and distress sales of houses, significant declines in home values and a collapse of consumer confidence. Our cancellation rates have fallen, but homebuyers sometimes find it more advantageous to forfeit a deposit than to complete the purchase of the home because of the fear of further price declines.
The company has traditionally carried a larger supply of land for development than many of our competitors. Some of the land was purchased during the last few years. Land prices have fallen in these markets and may continue to fall. As new housing demand in our markets has fallen significantly, we have elected to sell some of our land and lots at a loss or declined to exercise options, even though that required us to forfeit deposits and write off preacquisition costs. We also have changed our competitive strategies in some markets and elected to discontinue or postpone development in other markets in response to the downturn. As a result, we continue to look for opportunities to reposition our portfolio through the sale of our assets.
Our homebuyers ability to qualify for and obtain affordable mortgages could be affected by changes in government sponsored entities and private mortgage insurance companies supporting the mortgage market.
The federal government has historically had a significant role in supporting mortgage lending through its sponsorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As a result of turbulence in the credit markets and mortgage finance industry in the last few years, the effect of the federal governments conservatorship of these government sponsored entities on the short-term and long-term demand for new housing remains unclear. The liquidity provided to the mortgage industry by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both of which purchase home mortgages and mortgage-backed securities originated by mortgage lenders, is critical to the housing market. There have been significant concerns about the future purpose of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and a number of proposals to curtail their activities over time are under review. Any limitations or restrictions on the availability of financing by these entities could adversely affect interest rates, mortgage financing, and increase the effective cost of our homes, which could reduce demand for our homes and adversely affect our results of operations.
Changes in tax regulations could harm our future sales and earnings.
Significant costs of homeownership include mortgage interest expense and real estate taxes, both of which are generally deductible for an individuals federal and, in some cases, state income taxes. Any changes to income tax laws by the federal government or a state government to eliminate or substantially reduce these income tax deductions, as has been considered from time to time, would increase the after-tax cost of owning a home. Increases in real estate taxes by local governmental authorities also increase the cost of homeownership. Any such increases to the cost of homeownership could adversely affect the demand for and sales prices of new homes.
Recent deterioration in economic conditions and the credit markets could adversely affect our access to capital.
Financial and credit markets have been experiencing a period of turmoil that has included the failure or sale of various financial institutions and an unprecedented level of intervention from the United States government. While it is difficult to predict the ultimate results of these events, they may impair the companys ability to borrow money. Similarly, our customers may be unable to borrow money to fund their operations.
Continued deteriorating or volatile market conditions could:
Changes in credit ratings issued by nationally recognized statistical rating organizations could adversely affect our cost of financing and have an adverse effect on the market price of our securities.
Credit rating agencies rate our debt securities on factors that include our operating results, actions that we take, their view of the general outlook for our industry and their view of the general outlook for the economy. Actions taken by the rating agencies can include maintaining, upgrading or downgrading the current rating or placing the company on a watch list for possible future downgrading. Downgrading the credit rating of our debt securities or placing us on a watch list for possible future downgrading could limit our access to the credit markets, increase our cost of financing, and have an adverse effect on the market price of our securities.
Some of our products are vulnerable to declines in demand due to competing technologies or materials.
Our products may compete with nonfiber-based alternatives or with alternative products in certain market segments. For example, plastic, wood/plastic or composite materials may be used by builders as alternatives to the products produced by our Wood Products businesses such as lumber, veneer, plywood and oriented strand board. Changes in prices for oil, chemicals and wood-based fiber can change the competitive position of our products relative to available alternatives and could increase substitution of those products for our products. As the use of these alternatives grows, demand for our products may further decline.
Our results of operations and financial condition could be materially adversely affected by changes in product mix or pricing.
Our results may be affected by a change in our sales mix. Our outlook assumes a certain volume and product mix of sales. If actual results vary from this projected volume and product mix of sales, our operations and our results could be negatively affected. Our outlook also assumes we will be successful in implementing previously announced price increases as well as future price increases. Delays in acceptance of price increases could negatively affect our results. Moreover, price discounting, if required to maintain our competitive position, could result in lower than anticipated price realizations.
We face intense competition in our markets, and the failure to compete effectively could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We compete with North American and, for many of our product lines, global producers, some of which may have greater financial resources and lower production costs than we do. The principal basis for competition is selling price. Our ability to maintain satisfactory margins depends in large part on our ability to control our costs. Our industries are also particularly sensitive to other factors including innovation, design, quality and service, with varying emphasis on these factors depending on the product line. To the extent that one or more of our competitors become more successful with respect to any key competitive factor, our ability to attract and retain customers could be materially adversely affected. If we are unable to compete effectively, such failure could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
A material disruption at one of our manufacturing facilities could prevent us from meeting customer demand, reduce our sales or negatively affect our results of operation and financial condition.
Any of our manufacturing facilities, or any of our machines within an otherwise operational facility, could cease operations unexpectedly due to a number of events, including:
Any such downtime or facility damage could prevent us from meeting customer demand for our products and/or require us to make unplanned capital expenditures. If one of these machines or facilities were to incur significant downtime, our ability to meet our production targets and satisfy customer requirements could be impaired, resulting in lower sales and income.
Our operations require substantial capital.
The company has substantial capital requirements for expansion and repair or replacement of existing facilities or equipment. Although we maintain our production equipment with regular scheduled maintenance, key pieces of equipment may need to be repaired or replaced periodically. The costs of repairing or replacing such equipment and the associated downtime of the affected production line could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
We believe our capital resources will be adequate to meet our current projected operating needs, capital expenditures and other cash requirements. If for any reason we are unable to provide for our operating needs, capital expenditures and other cash requirements on economic terms, we could experience a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
We could incur substantial costs as a result of compliance with, violations of or liabilities under applicable environmental laws and other laws and regulations.
We are subject to a wide range of general and industry-specific laws and regulations relating to the protection of the environment, including those governing:
In particular, the pulp and paper industry in the United States is subject to Cluster Rules and Boiler Maximum Achievable Control Technology Rules that further regulate effluent and air emissions. These laws and regulations will require us to obtain authorizations from and comply with the authorization requirements of the appropriate governmental authorities, which have considerable discretion over the terms and timing of permits.
We have incurred, and we expect to continue to incur, significant capital, operating and other expenditures complying with applicable environmental laws and regulations and as a result of remedial obligations. We also could incur substantial costs, such as civil or criminal fines, sanctions and enforcement actions (including orders limiting our operations or requiring corrective measures, installation of pollution control equipment or other remedial actions), cleanup and closure costs, and third-party claims for property damage and personal injury as a result of violations of, or liabilities under, environmental laws and regulations.
As the owner and operator of real estate, including in our homebuilding business, we may be liable under environmental laws for cleanup, closure and other damages resulting from the presence and release of hazardous substances on or from our properties or operations. The amount and timing of environmental expenditures is difficult to predict, and in some cases, our liability may exceed forecasted amounts or the value of the property itself. The discovery of additional contamination or the imposition of additional cleanup obligations at our sites or third-party sites may result in significant additional costs. Any material liability we incur could adversely affect our financial condition or preclude us from making capital expenditures that otherwise would benefit our business.
We also anticipate public policy developments at the state, federal and international level regarding climate change and energy access, security and competitiveness. We expect these developments to address emission of carbon dioxide, renewable energy and fuel standards, and the monetization of carbon. Compliance with regulations that implement new public policy in these areas might require significant expenditures. Enactment of new environmental laws or regulations or changes in existing laws or regulations, or the interpretation of these laws or regulations, might require significant expenditures. We also anticipate public policy developments at the state, federal and international level regarding taxes, health care and a number of other areas that could require significant expenditures.
We will be affected by changes in currency exchange rates.
We have manufacturing operations in Canada, Uruguay and Brazil. We are also a large exporter and compete with producers of products very similar to ours. Therefore, we are affected by changes in the strength of the U.S. dollar relative to the Canadian dollar, Euro and Yen.
Our business and operations could be materially adversely affected by changes in the cost or availability of raw materials and energy.
We rely heavily on certain raw materials (principally wood fiber and chemicals) and energy sources (principally natural gas, electricity, coal and fuel oil) in our manufacturing processes. Our ability to increase earnings has been, and will continue to
be, affected by changes in the costs and availability of such raw materials and energy sources. We may not be able to fully offset the effects of higher raw material or energy costs through hedging arrangements, price increases, productivity improvements or cost-reduction programs.
We depend on third parties for transportation services and increases in costs and the availability of transportation could materially adversely affect our business and operations.
Our business depends on the transportation of a large number of products, both domestically and internationally. We rely primarily on third parties for transportation of the products we manufacture and/or distribute as well as delivery of our raw materials. In particular, a significant portion of the goods we manufacture and raw materials we use are transported by railroad or trucks, which are highly regulated.
If any of our third-party transportation providers were to fail to deliver the goods we manufacture or distribute in a timely manner, we may be unable to sell those products at full value or at all. Similarly, if any of these providers were to fail to deliver raw materials to us in a timely manner, we may be unable to manufacture our products in response to customer demand. In addition, if any of these third parties were to cease operations or cease doing business with us, we may be unable to replace them at reasonable cost.
Any failure of a third-party transportation provider to deliver raw materials or finished products in a timely manner could harm our reputation, negatively affect our customer relationships and have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operation.
In addition, an increase in transportation rates or fuel surcharges could materially adversely affect our sales and profitability.
If we fail to qualify or remain qualified as a REIT, we would be subject to tax at corporate rates and would not be able to deduct dividends to shareholders when computing our taxable income because our timber-related income will be subject to taxation.
In any taxable year we fail to qualify as a REIT, unless we are entitled to relief under the Internal Revenue Code:
If we fail to qualify as a REIT, we might need to borrow funds or liquidate some investments in order to pay the additional tax liability. Accordingly, funds available for investment or dividends to our shareholders would be reduced.
Qualification as a REIT involves the application of highly technical and complex provisions of the Internal Revenue Code to our operations and the determination of various factual matters and circumstances not entirely within our control. There are only limited judicial or administrative interpretations of these provisions. Although we operate in a manner consistent with the REIT qualification rules, we cannot assure you that we are or will remain so qualified.
In addition, federal and state tax laws are constantly under review by persons involved in the legislative process, the Internal Revenue Service, the United States Department of the Treasury, and state taxing authorities. Changes to the tax law could adversely affect our shareholders. We cannot predict with certainty whether, when, in what forms, or with what effective dates, the tax laws applicable to us or our shareholders may be changed.
Certain of our business activities are potentially subject to prohibited transactions tax or corporate-level income tax.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, REITs generally must engage in the ownership and management of income producing real estate. For the Company, this generally includes owning and managing a timberland portfolio for the production and sale of standing timber. Accordingly, the manufacture and sale by us of wood products, the harvesting and sale of logs, and the development or sale of certain timberlands, the manufacture and sale of pulp products, the development of real estate, the building and sale of single-family houses and the development and sale of land and lots for real estate development are conducted through one or more of our wholly-owned taxable REIT subsidiaries (TRSs) because such activities could generate non-qualifying REIT income and could constitute prohibited transactions. Prohibited transactions are defined by the Internal Revenue Code generally to be sales or other dispositions of property to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business. By conducting our business in this manner we believe that we satisfy the REIT requirements of the Internal Revenue Code and are not subject to the 100 percent tax that could be imposed if a REIT were to conduct a prohibited transaction. We may not always be successful, however, in limiting such activities to our TRSs. Therefore, we could be subject to the 100 percent prohibited transactions tax if such instances were to occur. The net income of our TRSs is subject to corporate-level income tax.
The extent of our use of our TRS may affect the price of our common shares relative to the share price of other REITs.
We conduct a significant portion of our business activities through one or more TRSs. Our use of our TRSs enables us to engage in non-REIT qualifying business activities such as the sale of logs, production and sale of wood products and pulp products, real estate development and single-family home sales, and sale of HBU property. Our TRSs are subject to corporate-level tax. Therefore, we pay income taxes on the income generated by our TRSs. Under the Code, no more than 25 percent of the value of the gross assets of a REIT may be represented by securities of one or more TRS. This limitation may affect our ability to increase the size of our TRSs operations. Furthermore, our use of TRSs may cause the market to value our common shares differently than the shares of other REITs, which may not use TRSs as extensively as we use them.
We may be limited in our ability to fund distributions using cash generated through our taxable REIT subsidiaries.
The ability of the REIT to receive dividends from our TRS is limited by the rules with which we must comply to maintain our status as a REIT. In particular, at least 75 percent of gross income for each taxable year as a REIT must be derived from passive real estate sources including sales of our standing timber and other types of qualifying real estate income and no more than 25 percent of our gross income may consist of dividends from our TRS and other non-real estate income.
This limitation on our ability to receive dividends from our TRSs may affect our ability to fund cash distributions to our shareholders using cash flows from our TRSs. We can, however, under current law, issue stock dividends for up to 90 percent of our regular dividend distribution for calendar years through 2011. The net income of our TRSs is not required to be distributed, and income that is not distributed will not be subject to the REIT income distribution requirement.
Our cash dividends are not guaranteed and may fluctuate.
Generally, REITs are required to distribute 90 percent of their ordinary taxable income and 95 percent of their net capital gains income. Capital gains may be retained by the REIT, but would be subject to income taxes. If capital gains are retained rather than distributed, our shareholders would be notified and they would be deemed to have received a taxable distribution, with a refundable credit for any federal income tax paid by the REIT. Accordingly, we believe that we are not required to distribute material amounts of cash since substantially all of our taxable income is treated as capital gains income. Our Board of Directors, in its sole discretion, determines the amount of quarterly dividends to be provided to our shareholders based on consideration of a number of factors. These factors include, but are not limited to, our results of operations, cash flow and capital requirements, economic conditions, tax considerations, borrowing capacity and other factors, including debt covenant restrictions that may impose limitations on cash payments, future acquisitions and divestitures, harvest levels, changes in the price and demand for our products and general market demand for timberlands including those timberland properties that have higher and better uses. Consequently, our dividend levels may fluctuate.
We may not be able to complete desired like-kind exchange transactions for timberlands and real estate we sell.
When we sell timberlands and real estate, we generally seek to match these sales with the acquisition of suitable replacement timberlands. This allows us like-kind exchange treatment for these transactions under section 1031 and related regulations of the Code. This matching of sales and purchases provides us with significant tax benefits, most importantly the deferral of any gain on the property sold until ultimate disposition of the replacement property. While we attempt to complete like-kind exchanges wherever practical, we may not be able to do so in all instances due to various factors, including the lack of availability of suitable replacement property on acceptable terms and our inability to complete a qualifying like-kind exchange transaction within the time frames required by the Code. The inability to obtain like-kind exchange treatment would result in the payment of taxes with respect to the property sold, and a corresponding reduction in earnings and cash available for distribution to shareholders as dividends.
We are a party to a number of legal proceedings, and adverse judgments in certain legal proceedings could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition.
The costs and other effects of pending litigation against us and related insurance recoveries cannot be determined with certainty. Although the disclosure in Note 16: Legal Proceedings, Commitments and Contingencies of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements contains managements current views of the effect such litigation will have on our financial results, there can be no assurance that the outcome of such proceedings will be as expected.
For example, there have been several lawsuits filed against us alleging that we violated U.S. antitrust laws. Those included lawsuits alleging antitrust violations against us and other manufacturers of oriented strand board and lawsuits alleging antitrust violations with respect to alder logs and lumber. All of these matters have been settled.
It is possible that there could be adverse judgments against us in some or all major litigation against us and that we could be
required to take a charge for all or a portion of any damage award. Any such charge could materially and adversely affect our results of operations for the quarter or year in which we record it.
We may be required to pay significant export taxes or countervailing and anti-dumping duties for exported products.
We may experience reduced revenues and margins on some of our businesses as a result of export taxes or countervailing and anti-dumping duty applications. For example, in 2001, a group of companies filed petitions with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission claiming that production of softwood lumber in Canada was being subsidized by Canada and that imports into the U.S. from Canada were being sold in U.S. markets at less than their fair value. We have softwood lumber facilities in Canada that export lumber into the U.S. We paid a total of $370 million in deposits for countervailing duty and anti-dumping tariffs from 2002 through 2006 related to those lumber exports. The U.S. and Canadian governments reached a settlement of the dispute in 2006. As a result of the settlement, we received a refund of $344 million fourth quarter 2006. However, our Canadian softwood lumber facilities will have to pay an export tax when the price of lumber is at or below a threshold price. The export tax could be as high as 22.5 percent if a province exceeds its total allotted export share. Similar types of actions have been initiated from time to time against us and other U.S. producers of products such as paper or lumber by countries such as China and Korea. It is possible that countervailing duty and antidumping tariffs, or similar types of tariffs could be imposed on us in the future. We may experience reduced revenues and margins in any business that is subject to such tariffs or to the terms of the settlements of such international disputes. These tariffs or settlement terms could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial results and financial condition, including facility closures or impairments of assets.
Our business and operations could be adversely affected by weather, fire, infestation or natural disasters.
Our timberlands assets may be damaged by adverse weather, severe wind and rainstorms, fires, pest infestation or other natural disasters. Because our manufacturing processes primarily use wood fiber, in many cases from our own timberlands, in the event of material damage to our timberlands, our operations could be disrupted or our production costs could be increased.
The price of our common stock may be volatile.
The market price of our common stock may be influenced by many factors, some of which are beyond our control, including those described above under Risks Related to our Industries and Business and the following:
In addition, there has been significant volatility in the market price and trading volume of securities of companies operating in the forest products industry that often has been unrelated to the operating performance of particular companies.
Some companies that have had volatile market prices for their securities have had securities litigation brought against them. If litigation of this type is brought against us, it could result in substantial costs and would divert managements attention and resources.
UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
There are no unresolved comments that were received from the SEC staff relating to our periodic or current reports under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Details about our facilities, production capacities and locations are found in the Our Business What We Do section of this report.
Production capacities listed represent annual production volume under normal operating conditions and producing a normal product mix for each individual facility. Production capacities do not include any capacity for facilities that were sold or permanently closed as of the end of 2010.
See Note 16: Legal Proceedings, Commitments and Contingencies in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for a summary of legal proceedings.
MARKET FOR REGISTRANTS COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
Our common stock trades on the following exchanges under the symbol WY:
As of December 31, 2010, there were approximately 10,050 holders of record of our common shares. Dividend-per-share data and the range of closing market prices for our common stock for each of the four quarters in 2010 and 2009 are included in Note 23: Selected Quarterly Financial Information (unaudited) in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
INFORMATION ABOUT SECURITIES AUTHORIZED FOR ISSUANCE UNDER OUR EQUITY COMPENSATION PLAN
INFORMATION ABOUT COMMON STOCK REPURCHASES
We did not repurchase any common shares in 2010. In December 2008, we announced a stock-repurchase program under which we are authorized to repurchase up to $250 million of outstanding shares. We repurchased a total of 66,691 shares of common stock for approximately $2 million under the program during 2009. All common stock purchases under the program were made in open-market transactions.
COMPARISON OF FIVE-YEAR CUMULATIVE TOTAL SHAREHOLDER RETURN
Weyerhaeuser Company, S&P 500, S&P Global Timber & Forestry Index and Prior Performance Peer Group
PERFORMANCE GRAPH ASSUMPTIONS