International Paper reports solid first quarter earnings
Friday, April 29, 2011
Press release from the issuing company
Memphis, Tenn. – International Paper today reported first-quarter 2011 net earnings attributable to common shareholders totaling $342 million ($0.78 per share) compared with net earnings of $316 million ($0.73 per share) in the fourth quarter of 2010 and a loss of $162 million ($0.38 per share) in the first quarter of 2010. Amounts in all periods include the impact of special items.
Earnings from continuing operations and before special items in the 2011 first quarter totaled $322 million ($0.74 per share), compared with $296 million ($0.68 per share) in the fourth quarter of 2010 and $16 million ($0.04 per share) in the first quarter of 2010.
Quarterly net sales were $6.4 billion compared with $6.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010 and $5.8 billion in the first quarter of 2010.
Operating profits were $585 million in the first quarter of 2011, up from $561 million in the fourth quarter of 2010 both of which included special items.
"First-quarter results reflect continued strong performances across all of our global mill businesses," said John Faraci, chairman and chief executive officer. "Industrial Packaging and Printing Papers continued to post solid results, and Consumer Packaging delivered significantly higher earnings. Europe continued its strong performances in paper and packaging and the contribution from our Ilim joint venture also increased. As a result of these strong across-the-board results, first-quarter free cash flow was in-line with our expectations and we remain confident in our earnings and cash flow outlook for 2011."
To measure the performance of the company's business segments from quarter to quarter without variations caused by special items, management focuses on business segment operating profits excluding those items. First-quarter 2011 segment operating profits and business trends, excluding special items, compared with the prior quarter are as follows:
Industrial Packaging operating profit was $274 million ($279 million including special items) compared with an operating profit of $274 million ($261 million including special items) in the fourth quarter of 2010. First-quarter earnings were impacted by lower volume due to seasonality and unusually harsh weather in January and February. In addition, higher input costs and annual planned mill maintenance outage expenses occurred in the first quarter. These higher expenses were largely offset by favorable operations and lower costs.
Printing Papers operating profit was $209 million ($201 million including special items) compared with an operating profit of $236 million ($234 million including special items) in the fourth quarter of 2010. Quarterly earnings decreased due to globally higher input costs and increased U.S. mill operating costs, partially offset by lower operating costs in our European mills. In North America, the pulp business recorded significantly higher planned maintenance outage expenses, but these were more than offset by lower outage expenses in North American and European papers.
Consumer Packaging operating profit was $101 million ($100 million including
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