Owens Corning Rises 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 $3.41, or 11 percent, to $33.21 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading, the biggest one-day gain since June 23. The shares have gained 30 percent this year.

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.

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