Weyerhaeuser is feeling very good about the housing recovery, said CEO Dan Fulton. "We're benefiting from the recovery in the U.S. housing market, but we also export products all over the world." Fulton said that the REIT's "substantial timberlands" on the West Coast allow it to easily ship logs to Asia.
Hedge fund managers such as John Paulson are investing in timber REITs, recognizing that they are positioned for sustainable, long-term growth. In 2011, Paulson invested $366 million in Weyerhaeuser. Timber REITs account for 5% of total listed REIT equity market capitalization, according to Forisk Timber. Their individual performances can vary widely.
Weyerhaeuser converted to REIT status a year ago, a move that CEO Dan Fulton calls a success.
"We've been really pleased with the market reaction, and we're looking forward to being able to enjoy more benefits as the market recovers," he said. The company has been dealing with the slowdown in the homebuilding market; however, its export flows have offset some of the domestic weakness.
Weyerhaeuser's shareholders have approved a plan to convert the timber company to a REIT. A date hasn't been set, but it will likely happen this year at some point. "The REIT structure best supports our strategic direction," said Dan Fulton, president and CEO.