International Paper Tops Q3 Estimates
Tuesday, November 04, 2014
Press release from the issuing company
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - International Paper (NYSE: IP) today reported third quarter 2014 net earnings attributable to common shareholders totaling $355 million ($0.83 per share) compared with net earnings of $161 million ($0.37 per share) in the second quarter of 2014 and net earnings of $382 million ($0.85 per share) in the third quarter of 2013. Amounts in all periods include the impact of special items, non-operating pension expense and discontinued operations.
* Operating Earnings is defined as net earnings from continuing operations (GAAP) excluding special items and non-operating pension expense.
Operating Earnings were $409 million ($0.95 per share) in the third quarter of 2014, compared with $400 million ($0.93 per share) in the second quarter of 2014 and $455 million ($1.01 per share) in the third quarter of 2013.
Quarterly net sales were $6.1 billion compared with $5.9 billion in the second quarter of 2014 and $6.0 billion in the third quarter of 2013.
Business segment operating profits before special items in the third quarter of 2014 were $840 million, compared with $686 million in the second quarter of 2014.
"International Paper delivered strong results in the quarter with record performance from our North America Industrial Packaging group and solid performance in other key businesses that resulted in records for both EBITDA and free cash flow," said Mark Sutton , Chief Executive Officer. "IP continues to focus on growing free cash flow, increasing our return on capital and returning cash to our shareholders."
The performance of the company's business segments are measured quarter to quarter without variations caused by special items, as management focuses on business segment operating profits excluding those items. Third quarter 2014 business segment operating profits and business trends compared with the prior quarter are as follows:
Industrial Packaging operating profits in the third quarter of 2014 were $569 million ($527 million including special items) compared with $534 million ($537 million including special items) in the second quarter of 2014. North America's record operating earnings were driven by strong operating performance and lower planned maintenance outage costs, partially offset by lower export volume. In Europe, seasonally lower sales volumes led to a decrease in earnings.
Printing Papers operating profits were $192 million ($177 million including special items) in the third quarter of 2014 versus $118 million ($69 million including special items) in the second quarter of 2014. The earnings increase in North America was primarily driven by fewer planned maintenance outages, lower closure costs for the Courtland mill, strong mill operations and higher sales volumes (domestic and export). Pulp earnings benefited from higher fluff pulp sales prices. Operating profits in Brazil increased due to higher demand in the domestic and Latin American markets. In Europe, market conditions remained challenging with sales volumes for paper down from the prior quarter, but earnings improved due to lower maintenance outage costs.
Consumer Packaging operating profits were $79 million ($77 million including special items) in the third quarter of 2014 compared with $34 million ($33 million including special items) in the second quarter of 2014. North American Coated paperboard improved significantly from the prior quarter, due to price realization, improved sales volumes, solid operations and lower maintenance outage costs. Food service product demand remains strong as foam to paper conversions continue to take place for some of our larger customers. In Europe, higher sales volumes, improved operations and lower maintenance outage costs were only partially offset by lower sales margins.
International Paper recorded an Ilim joint venture equity loss of $70 million compared with equity earnings of $43 million in the second quarter of 2014. With respect to Ilim's U.S. dollar denominated debt, the company recognized a non-cash after-tax foreign exchange loss of $82 million in the third quarter of 2014, compared with an after-tax gain of $29 million in the second quarter of 2014, largely due to foreign exchange movement in the U.S. dollar versus the Russian ruble. Operating earnings were relatively flat quarter over quarter, as higher planned outage costs were offset by seasonally lower wood expenses and improving operations.
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