Composite profile extruder Trex Co. Inc. expects to have a site selected within the next two weeks for its third manufacturing facility.
The publicly held firm, based in Winchester, Va., is following through on plans for the third site after officials nixed plans to expand to Knoxville, Tenn., in 2001. Trex operates extrusion plants in its headquarters city and in Fernley, Nev.
Officials would give no hint for possible locations. The firm abandoned greenfield expansion plans in Knoxville because of higher-than-expected costs.
According to an Oct. 20 report in the Memphis Business Journal, Trex could be eyeing sites in Olive Branch, Miss., or Cape Girardeau, Mo., for a $160 million to $240 million manufacturing facility that could employ as many as 400.
Officials with the DeSoto Economic Development Council, representing Olive Branch, declined comment.
``We haven't identified which are the candidates,'' said Anthony Cavanna, Trex's executive vice president, in an Oct. 21 telephone interview. ``We are down to a very short list.''
Trex does need the space if it expects to continue to grow more than 20 percent annually, said David Weaver, an analyst with Legg Mason Inc., a financial services firm based in Baltimore.
``I think they'll follow through with it,'' Weaver said, noting that Trex has 19 extrusion lines in two facilities, with room to grow to 25.
``By the time they get to 2005, they'll need that space.''
Trex will report its third-quarter results Oct. 27. On Sept. 29, the firm updated its full-year financial guidance, expecting sales of roughly $190 million for 2003, a $10 million decline from earlier guidance, based on continued poor weather conditions in many parts of the country.
The company's profit also has been affected by higher raw material costs. Officials reduced net profit guidance 20 cents, to $1.40-$1.43 per share.