Boise Cascade, Louisiana-Pacific cut at BofA on weak housing outlook

Jun. 23, 2022 3:33 PM ETBoise Cascade Company (BCC), LPX, WYPCHBy: Carl Surran, SA News Editor2 Comments

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Boise Cascade (NYSE:BCC) -10.3% and Louisiana-Pacific (NYSE:LPX) -3.6% in Thursday's trading as Bank of America downgrades both engineered wood products makers to Neutral from Buy, citing a weak outlook for U.S. single-family housing starts, which the bank forecasts will drop to 800K-900K in 2023 from a current pace of 1.1M.

Home affordability has dropped to the lowest levels since 2006, which has priced out many entry-level buyers, and BofA analysts led by George Staphos expect weaker housing demand will be reflected in wood volumes and pricing.

Volatility among the wood stocks makes it difficult to catch tops and bottoms with rating changes, but Staphos notes Boise (BCC), Louisiana-Pacific (LPX), PotlatchDeltic (PCH) and Weyerhaeuser (NYSE:WY) all traded substantially higher a few weeks ago on wood pricing, earnings and value return catalysts BofA had expected.

BofA slashed stock price targets for Boise (BCC) to $71 from $95, Louisiana-Pacific (LPX) to $67 from $90, PotlatchDeltic (PCH) to $55 from $66, and Weyerhaeuser (WY) to $38 from $49.

With higher interest rates and soaring home prices beginning to take a toll on home sales, lumber futures recently fell to YTD lows.

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