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Lower copper selling prices drive Encore earnings drop

Keywords: Tags  Encore Wire, copper, copper selling prices, quarterly earnings, Daniel Jones, Suzy Waite

NEW YORK — Encore Wire Corp.’s net income dropped in the first quarter due to lower copper selling prices.

The McKinney, Texas-based wire fabricator reported net income of nearly $6.4 million for the three months ended March 31, down 4.5 percent from $6.7 million in the first quarter of 2012 on sales that fell 5.4 percent to $265.4 million from $280.5 million.

Most of the decline in revenue was attributed to a 5.3-percent fall in the average selling price of wire per pound of copper. Copper unit volumes, measured in pounds of copper contained in the wire sold, also decreased but at a lesser pace. Volumes fell 3.1 percent year on year in the first quarter, the company said, without providing specific figures.

"The first quarter of this year was another fairly steady volume quarter, considering the time of year and the current economic and construction industry environment. We believe our expansion of product offerings over the last six years to our existing customer base has been critical to maintaining and perhaps boosting our market share," president and chief executive officer Daniel L. Jones said in a statement April 24.

The company’s aluminum building wire plant, which began production in the fourth quarter of 2012, accounted for 5.7 percent of net sales dollars for the first quarter vs. 2.9 percent a year earlier. The last of the equipment is being delivered and installation should be complete by the end of the second quarter, Encore added.

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