By Dow Jones Business News, October 24, 2013, 07:36:00 AM EDT
By Anna Prior
International Paper Co.'s ( IP ) third-quarter earnings jumped 61% as the paper company recorded a rise in sales, helped
by the company's industrial-packaging segment.
"Results were driven by solid operational performance and higher prices that more than offset a spike in wood costs,"
said Chief Executive John Faraci.
Last month, the paper-and-pulp company decided to close an Alabama mill as the result of weakening demand in the U.S.
for paper used in products such as forms, envelopes and prints. At that time, the company said demand for uncoated
freesheet in North America has been in decline for more than a decade, with the pace of the decline increasing recently
as consumers turn to electronic alternatives such as online publications and electronic billing and filing.
Meanwhile, after completing its $3.48 billion acquisition of rival Temple-Inland Inc. last year, International Paper
has divested itself of some assets, including the sale of three U.S. container-board mills, to meet regulatory
International Paper reported a profit of $382 million, or 85 cents a share, up from $237 million, or 54 cents a share,
a year earlier. Excluding acquisition charges and other items, per-share earnings from continuing operations rose to 87
cents from 51 cents.
Sales rose 5.4% to $7.4 billion.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters recently projected earnings of 93 cents a share on revenue of $7.48 billion.
Sales at International Paper's industrial-packaging segment rose 13% to $3.76 billion. The printing-papers business,
which ships printing papers and graphic equipment, saw sales edged down 1.6% to $1.56 billion.
Shares closed at $44.39 on Wednesday and were inactive premarket. Through Wednesday's close, the stock has risen 11%
since the start of the year.
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