Packaging Corp. (PKG) Down 2.1% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Rebound?

A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Packaging Corp. (PKG). Shares have lost about 2.1% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Packaging Corp. due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at the most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

Packaging Corp's Q2 Earnings Top Estimates, Down Y/Y

Packaging Corporation reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.38 in second-quarter 2020, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.28. However, the reported figure plunged 32.4% year over year.

This decline resulted from lower prices and mix in the Packaging and Paper segments, dismal volumes in the Paper segment, as well as elevated depreciation expense. These negatives were partly offset by lower operating costs, reduced annual outage expense, lower freight and converting costs as well as other costs.

Including one-time items, earnings in the reported quarter came in at 59 cents per share compared with the prior-year quarter’s $2.04.

Operational Update

Sales for the June-end quarter declined 12.4% year over year to $1,542 million. The reported figure also missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,672 million.

Cost of products sold was down 8.7% year over year to $1,216 million in the second quarter. Gross profit went down 23.8% year over year to $326 million. Selling, general and administrative expenses came in at $136 million, marking a fall of 5.6%. Adjusted total segment operating income dipped 29% year over year to $198 million.

Segmental Performance

Packaging: Sales in this segment dropped to $1,410 million from the $1,505 million recorded in the year-earlier period. Segmental income, excluding special items, came in at $224 million in the quarter compared with the $264 million witnessed in the prior-year period.

Printing Papers: This segment’s revenues slipped 48.3% year over year to $123 million in the reported quarter. The segment incurred adjusted operating loss of $5.7 million as against the prior-year quarter’s operating income of $38.8 million.

Cash Position

The company had a cash balance of $853.3 million as of the end of the April-June quarter, up from the year-earlier quarter end’s figure of $569.4 million.


Packaging Corporation has not issued any guidance for the third quarter given the uncertainty related to the pandemic and its impact on the global economy. The company expects to benefit from solid corrugated products demand in the current quarter.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, estimates review have trended upward during the past month.

VGM Scores

At this time, Packaging Corp. has a nice Growth Score of B, though it is lagging a lot on the Momentum Score front with an F. However, the stock was allocated a grade of B on the value side, putting it in the second quintile for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of B. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.


Estimates have been trending upward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions looks promising. Notably, Packaging Corp. has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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