Owens Corning Rises Most in Eight Months as Profit, Sales Exceed Estimates

Owens Corning Inc., the largest U.S. maker of insulation, rose the most in eight months in New York after posting first-quarter profit and sales that topped analysts’ estimates and increasing its earnings forecast.

Owens Corning climbed $2.62, or 8.8 percent, to $32.42 at 12:16 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares earlier increased 14 percent, the biggest intraday gain since Aug. 5.

Profit excluding some items was 42 cents a share, the Toledo, Ohio-based company said today in a statement. Analysts projected profit of 13 cents, the average of eight estimates in a Bloomberg survey. First-quarter sales rose 18 percent to $1.27 billion, beating the average estimate of $1.02 billion.

The company also raised its 2010 forecast for adjusted earnings before interest and taxes to as high as $450 million from a February projection of at least $350 million.

A rebound in economic activity and cost cuts from last year allowed Owens Corning to post profit at its composite and roofing units, making up for a decline at the insulation business, Chief Executive Officer Mike Thaman said today on a conference call with analysts.

“Owens Corning is off to a strong start in 2010,” Thaman said. “We had an outstanding first quarter.”

First-quarter net income of $48 million, or 38 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $28 million, or 23 cents, the company said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Black in Monterrey at tblack@bloomberg.net.

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