* EPS C$0.09, versus loss $0.12/shr a year ago
* Revenue C$629.1 mln, up from C$549.9 mln
* CEO to leave after May 5 AGM
VANCOUVER, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Softwood lumber producer, Canfor Corp CFP.TO, posted a profit in the fourth quarter as sales to China offset weak demand from a struggling housing sector in the United States.
Canfor also said its president and chief executive, James Shepard, would retire and be replaced by Don Kayne at the company’s annual meeting on May 5.
The company said its net income attributable to equity shareholders was C$30.7 million, or 9 Canadian cents per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31. That compared with a loss of C$17 million, or 12 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.
Sales were C$629 million, up from C$549.6 million.
Industry analysts had predicted, on average, that Canfor would report earnings of 8 Canadian cents per share. Their individual forecasts ranged from a profit of 3 Canadian cents a share to 16 Canadian cents.
Canfor, which has sawmills in Western Canada and the southeastern United States, was one of the first Canadian forestry firms to tap into growing North American lumber sales to China.
Canfor’s shares closed 0.8 percent higher at C$12.71 on Friday, having climbed just over 15 percent this year, and are nearly 64 percent higher than they were a year ago.
Canadian billionaire Jim Pattison has been slowly increasing his stake in Canfor in recent years and now owns more than 35 percent. (Reporting by Alastair Sharp and Allan Dowd; editing by Rob Wilson)