* Q1 loss $0.05 vs. loss estimate of $0.07
* Net sales drop 33 pct to $156 mln
* Completes credit amendments
April 29 (Reuters) - Norbord Inc NBD.TO, a Canada-based producer of wood-based panels, posted a narrower-than-expected quarterly loss due to a drop in manufacturing input costs and higher prices for oriented strand boards.
For the first-quarter, Norbord reported a loss of $22 million, or 5 cents per share, compared with a loss of $31 million, or 21 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.
Analysts were expecting the company to post a loss of 7 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.
Norbord, which has 15 factories in North America and Europe, said North American benchmark price for its oriented strand boards (OSB) averaged at $154 in the latest quarter, up from $137 in the first quarter of 2008.
Norbord said it has amended its credit lines to extend the term and revise the financial covenants. Under the amended terms, the company has $205 million in revolving bank lines maturing in May 2011.
Capital investments totaled $5 million in the first quarter and is not expected to exceed $20 million in 2009, the company said.
“We know that the next 12 to 18 months will continue to challenge our company. However, there are signs that the economics of our business are starting to stabilize,” CEO Barrie Shineton said in a statement.
Norbord shares, which have gained 48 percent month to date, closed at 98 cents Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Reporting by R. Manikandan in Bangalore; Editing by Anil D'Silva