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Orient Paper Inc. announces record Q4

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Press release from the issuing company

Baoding, China - Orient Paper, Inc. ("Orient Paper" or the "Company"), a leading manufacturer and distributor of diversified paper products in Hebei, China, which controls and operates Hebei Baoding Orient Paper Milling Co., Ltd. ("HBOP") and its wholly- owned PRC subsidiary Baoding Shengde Paper Co., Ltd. ("Baoding Shengde"), today announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2009.

Fourth Quarter 2009 Highlights
- Revenue increased 97.6% year-over-year to $31.4 million
- Gross profit increased 61.5% year-over-year to $5.6 million, with gross
 margin of 17.9%
- Operating income rose 37.7% year-over-year to $4.5 million
- Net income increased 42.4% year-over-year to $3.1 million, or $0.21 per diluted share
- Closed a private placement financing of $5.0 million in October 2009 and used the proceeds and additional internal cash reserves to acquire digital photo paper equipment in December 2009
- Engaged BDO Limited, the Hong Kong member firm of the BDO International network, as the Company's new independent auditor in October 2009
- Appointed Mr. Drew Bernstein, Mr. Wenbing Christopher Wang, and Ms. Zhaofang Wang as independent directors and established Audit, Nominating, and Compensation Committees in October 2009
- Effected a one-for-four reverse split of the Company's common stock
- The Company's common stock began trading on the NYSE AMEX market in December 2009

Full Year 2009 Highlights
- Revenue increased 56.7% to $102.1 million
- Gross profit increased 59.5% to $20.0 million with gross margin of 19.6%
- Operating income increased 47.2% to $18.0 million
- Net income increased 45.0% to $12.7 million, or $1.04 per diluted share

"Our strong revenue and net income growth in 2009 was largely driven by strong market demand for corrugating medium paper and medium-grade offset printing paper," commented Mr. Zhenyong Liu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Because of the skyrocketing price of pulp, demand for our medium- grade offset printing paper, which uses recycled white or printed scrap paper as a raw material substitute for pulp, exhibited tremendous growth in the fourth quarter of 2009. We converted our writing paper capacities to produce more medium-grade offset printing paper in 2009 to meet this growth in demand.

"With our recent digital photo paper assets acquisition, we have now begun production of high-margin digital photo paper products. We are optimistic about the growth potential of the digital photo paper segment and believe it will enhance our revenue and, more importantly, net income growth in 2010. During the fourth quarter, we enhanced our corporate governance with the appointment of three new independent directors and the establishment of board committees, followed by a successful uplisting of our common stock on the NYSE AMEX market. We are pleased with our exciting growth and development in the past quarter."

Fourth Quarter 2009 Results
Revenue for the fourth quarter of 2009 was $31.4 million compared to $15.9 million for the same period in 2008, an increase of 97.6%. The significant increase in revenue was largely attributable to an increase in demand for both corrugating medium paper and medium-grade offset printing paper and the ramp- up of the Company's production lines. These two product segments accounted for a majority of the Company's total revenue in the fourth quarter of 2009. Revenue from medium-grade offset printing paper was $19.0 million, up 699.7% from $2.4 million for the same period in 2008, as the Company converted its writing paper production line to produce more medium-grade offset printing paper to meet the strong market demand. The Company also added four new customers during the quarter, which accounted for 3.0% of the total sales revenue. Revenue from corrugating medium paper was $12.2 million compared to $7.0 million for the same period in 2008, an increase of 74.2%. Demand for corrugating medium paper was much stronger in the fourth quarter of 2009 as compared to a year ago, as a result of the recovery of regional manufacturing activity from the financial crisis of 2008 to 2009.

Gross profit for the fourth quarter of 2009 increased 21.9% to $5.6 million compared to $3.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2008. Gross margin was 17.9% compared to 21.9% in the same period last year. The temporary decrease in gross margin during the quarter was primarily due to increase an in coal prices, which generally accounts for 8.0% to 10.0% of the total cost of sales or 5.0% to 7.0% of total sales. Due to severe winter weather conditions, the cost of coal increased substantially in the fourth quarter of 2009 and accounted for 13.0% of total cost of sales and 11.0% of total sales for the quarter ended December 31, 2009.

Selling, general and administrative expenses for three months ended December 31, 2009 were $1.1 million, up 450% from $0.2 million in the same period last year. The significant increase was primarily attributable to an increase in expenses related to the Company's status as a public company and expenses related to the October 2009 private placement transaction. These additional fourth quarter 2009 expenses include items such as legal, accounting, consulting, investor relations, and officers/directors compensation.

Operating income for the fourth quarter of 2009 was $4.5 million, up 37.7% from $3.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. The increase was primarily attributable to the revenue and gross profit growth in the quarter ended December 31, 2009.

Net income in the fourth quarter of 2009 was $3.1 million, up 42.4% from $2.2 million in the same period last year. Basic and diluted earnings per share for the fourth quarter of 2009 were $0.21 compared to $0.20 for the same period a year ago. Weighted average shares used in the calculation of diluted earnings per share were 14,630,912 in the quarter ended December 31, 2009 compared to 10,769,896 a year ago.

Full Year 2009 Results
Total revenue for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2009 was $102.1 million, up 56.7%, from $65.2 million in 2008. Gross profit for fiscal year 2009 was $20.0 million, up 59.5%, from gross profit of $12.6 million in the comparable period a year ago. Gross margin was 19.6% for fiscal year 2009, an increase of 0.3 percentage points from 19.3% for the same period a year ago. Operating income was $18.0 million, up 47.2% from $12.2 million in 2008. Net income for the fiscal year 2009 was $12.7 million, up 45.0% from $8.8 million in fiscal year 2008. Basic and diluted earnings per share were $1.04 for fiscal year 2009 compared to $0.81 in fiscal year 2008. Weighted average shares used in the calculation of diluted earnings per share were 12,232,878 in 2009 compared to 10,769,896 in 2008 as a result of (i) a conversion of a $4 million loan from the Company's Chairman Mr. Liu into 1,204,341 shares of common stock, and (ii) 2,083,333 shares issued in connection with the Company's $5.0 million private placement in October 2009.

Financial Condition
As of December 31, 2009, Orient Paper had $6.9 million in unrestricted cash and $7.0 million in working capital. The Company had $4.3 million in short-term debt as well as $6.1 million in long-term debt, of which $4.1 million is from a group of related parties.

Net accounts receivable as of December 31, 2009 was $2 million, up 44.3% from $1.4 million a year ago. Despite the increase in the accounts receivable balance, days in accounts receivable, a measurement of sales and collection turnover rate, improved to 6.22 days for 2009 from 7.11 days for the previous year. The very short days in accounts receivable and quick collection turnover are attributable to the strong demand for the Company's paper products. The Company is currently experiencing production backlogs and is requesting more customers prepay their purchase orders before production is started. The Company anticipates that days in accounts receivable should remain low as long as market demand for paper products is strong.

Inventory totaled $6.9 million, up from $2.8 million at year end 2008. Approximately 91.3% of the inventory was raw materials, as the Company increased its stock of recycled paper board, recycled printed paper, and coal in anticipation of rising raw material prices, the growing demand for medium- grade offset printing paper, and any possible interruption of supplies caused by severe weather conditions. As of December 31, 2009, shareholders' equity was $56.3 million, up 65.1% from shareholder's equity of $34.1 million as of December 31, 2008. In 2009, the Company generated net cash flow from operating activities of $15.0 million. The Company paid $9.2 million from the cash generated from operating activities (in addition to the funds raised in the October 2009 private placement) to acquire the digital photo paper equipment in 2009.

Business Outlook
Orient Paper began trial production of digital photo paper at the beginning of March 2010 and has received positive market feedback. The Company appointed Mr. Manhua Zhang, an experienced leader in the digital photo paper business, as Chief Engineer of the Company's digital photo paper division. The Company has already received orders from several customers and is optimistic about the growth potential of the digital photo paper segment and anticipates it will be a strong net earnings contributor in 2010. Orient Paper also plans to expand production capacity of its rapidly growing corrugated medium paper product line in 2010.

Orient Paper reaffirms its ability to achieve the make good target of $18.0 million in adjusted net income, or $1.21 per fully diluted share, for fiscal year 2010.

Mr. Liu added, "We continue to hold a positive outlook on China's paper industry. We believe our revenue and net income growth in 2010 will be largely driven by regional economic development, increased capacity utilization, and the very-much-anticipated earnings contribution from our new digital photo paper production capacity. We are confident in our ability to increase and diversify our customer base as we acquire a greater market share in northern China. We will continue to seek strategic investment opportunities to accelerate our growth and expansion in the long-term."

 

 

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