International Paper Q1 Profit Tumbles on Charges

AP

International Paper Co. said Friday that its first-quarter profit tumbled 47 percent, pulled down by hefty charges, along with higher costs and operational issues at biggest business. Its adjusted earnings beat Wall Street expectations.

The Memphis-based company reported net income of $188 million, or 43 cents per share, for the three months ended March 31, down from $354 million, or 81 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Excluding one-time items, the company posted adjusted profit from continuing operations of 57 cents per share for the recent quarter. Analysts, on average, expected a profit of 50 cents per share, according to a survey by FactSet.

Revenue rose 4.2 percent to $6.66 billion from $6.39 billion. Analysts expected $6.8 billion in revenue.

Sales at International Paper's industrial packaging business rose 22 percent to $3.11 billion, but operating profit fell 30 percent to $215 million as a result of operational problems, increased production outages and higher costs, the company said.

The company said its $3.51 billion acquisition of smaller rival Temple-Inland Inc., which closed in February, did not significantly affect the latest earnings.

International Paper shares rose 25 cents to $34 in morning trading. That is near its 52-week high of $36.50 per share set in mid-March. Its shares traded at a low for the past year of $21.55 last October.

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