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American Woodmark outperforms Street's view

The Associated Press

WINCHESTER -- American Woodmark's first-quarter net income jumped more than tenfold as the cabinet maker continues to benefit from strong new home construction.

Earnings and revenue beat Wall Street expectations.

Like other companies with exposure to the housing market, American Woodmark is riding a wave of increased consumer confidence in the sector and upbeat home data.

On Friday the Commerce Department reported that U.S. developers broke ground on homes at a faster pace in July. And on Thursday the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index reported that confidence among U.S. homebuilders is at its highest level in nearly eight years, fueled by optimism that demand for new homes will drive sales growth into next year.

Glen Eanes, vice president and treasurer of American Woodmark, credited the growth to the company's restructuring process.

"As we continue to grow in market share, we'll continue to retain profitability," he said. "We still have a ways to go before we're totally happy with our performance."

The Winchester company earned $6.7 million, or 43 cents per share, for the three months ended July 31. That's sharply higher than the $561,000, or 4 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue rose 20 percent to $178.1 million from $148.3 million.

Eanes said the company experienced an increase in material costs throughout the quarter, but it was offset by labor gains and lower overhead costs.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet predicted earnings of 32 cents per share on revenue of $173 million.

Also on Tuesday, Home Depot Inc. reported that its second-quarter profit rose 18 percent. Its results topped analysts' estimates and the home improvement retailer raised its full-year earnings and revenue outlooks again.

Shares of American Woodmark Corp. closed Tuesday at $33.21.

Daily reporter Ryan Cornell contributed to this report.

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