USG Corp., the wallboard maker whose largest shareholder is Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., rose the most in 17 months after beating profit estimates amid a U.S. residential construction rebound.
Second-quarter earnings excluding one-time items of 53 cents a share topped the 46-cent average of analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
USG benefited as U.S. housing starts in June rose to a 1.17 million annualized rate, the second-highest level since November 2007. Improved volumes for the wall-producing North American Gypsum unit, and increased sales of higher-margin products in the ceilings division boosted results.
“The outlook for all of our businesses is bright,” Chief Executive Officer James S. Metcalf said in a statement. “All of our businesses expanded their margins.”
USG climbed 6.1 percent to $28.76 at 1:16 p.m. in New York after gaining as much as 9 percent in the biggest intraday jump since February 2014. The shares fell 3.1 percent this year through Wednesday.
Berkshire owned 29.8 percent of the Chicago-based company’s shares outstanding as of March 31, according to a filing.
USG said in a filing it received a federal grand jury subpoena requesting records in connection with a federal investigation of the gypsum drywall industry. USG said it will cooperate fully and that it doesn’t expect the probe to have a material adverse effect.
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