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International Paper Reports 3Q 2013 Earnings



Published October 25, 2013
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International Paper reported third quarter 2013 net earnings attributable to common shareholders totaling $382 million ($0.85 per share), compared with net earnings of $259 million ($0.57 per share) in the second quarter of 2013 and $237 million ($0.54 per share) in the third quarter of 2012.

Record operating earnings were $471 million ($1.05 per share) in the third quarter of 2013 compared with $288 million ($0.64 per share) in the second quarter of 2013 and $358 million ($0.81 per share) in the third quarter of 2012.

Quarterly net sales were $7.4 billion compared with $7.3 billion in the second quarter of 2013 and $7.0 billion in the third quarter of 2012.

Business segment operating profits before special items were $753 million in the third quarter of 2013, compared with $622 million in the second quarter of 2013 and $634 million in the third quarter of 2012.

"International Paper delivered record operating earnings in the third quarter, as our margins continued to expand. Results were driven by solid operational performance and higher prices that more than offset a spike in wood costs," said John Faraci, chairman and CEO. "Looking ahead, the company is well positioned going into 2014 and we continue to focus on growing free cash flow and generating above cost of capital returns."

Industrial Packaging operating profits in the third quarter of 2013 were $517 million ($499 million including special items) compared with $477 million ($474 million including special items) in the second quarter of 2013. In North America, higher selling prices for boxes and containerboard, operational improvements and fewer maintenance outages favorably impacted the quarter. Wood and waste fiber costs were higher than anticipated.

Third quarter industry year-over-year box growth was approximately 0.5%, a modest improvement from flat growth in the second quarter of 2013. In Europe, sales volumes were seasonally lower and sales margins were down, reflecting higher board costs.

Printing Papers operating profits were $144 million ($93 million including special items) in the third quarter of 2013 versus $76 million (before and after special items) in the second quarter of 2013. The earnings increase of $68 million from the second quarter was primarily due to fewer planned maintenance outages in the U.S. and Europe and the non-recurrence of a $28 million bad debt reserve posted last quarter. This increase was partially offset by higher wood costs due to wet weather in the southeastern U.S.

Consumer Packaging operating profits were $73 million (before and after special items) in the third quarter of 2013 compared with $52 million ($51 million including special items) in the second quarter of 2013. In both North America and Europe, the business benefited from lower maintenance outage costs and favorable pricing.

xpedx, the company's North American distribution business, reported operating profits of $19 million ($13 million including special items) in the third quarter of 2013 compared with $17 million (break-even including special items) in the second quarter of 2013. Seasonally higher sales volumes drove the earnings increase.


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