International Paper Reports Third Quarter Earnings

Oct. 25, 2012 (Press Release) - International Paper today reported third quarter 2012 net earnings from continuing operations attributable to common shareholders totaling $223 million ($0.51 per share), compared with net earnings of $118 million ($0.27 per share) in the second quarter of 2012 and $468 million ($1.08 per share) in the third quarter of 2011. Amounts in all periods include the impact of special items.

"The company generated excellent cash flow in the third quarter, despite the backdrop of slow global economic growth." —John Faraci, Chairman and CEO, IP.

Quarterly net sales were $7.0 billion compared with $7.1 billion in the second quarter of 2012 and $6.6 billion in the third quarter of 2011.

Operating profits were $539 million in the third quarter of 2012, compared with $426 million in the second quarter of 2012 and $571 million in the third quarter of 2011, all of which included special items.

"The company generated excellent cash flow in the third quarter, despite the backdrop of slow global economic growth," said John Faraci, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Looking ahead to next year, many of our key strategic projects will be ramping up around the globe. This, along with our earnings trajectory in North America Industrial Packaging, will allow us to deliver significant progress on our earnings and cash flow runway as we head into 2013."

SEGMENT INFORMATION

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 2012 business segment operating profits and business trends compared with the prior quarter are as follows:

Industrial Packaging posted earnings of $342 million ($255 million including special items) in the third quarter of 2012, versus $367 million ($260 million including special items) in the second quarter of 2012. Lower planned maintenance downtime costs, solid manufacturing performance and decreased input costs, were offset by lower sales volumes, the operational impact of divesting three containerboard mills during the quarter and an unfavorable inventory valuation adjustment.

Printing Papers operating profits were $201 million ($202 million including special items) versus $106 million ($104 million including special items) in the second quarter of 2012. The earnings increase was primarily due to lower planned maintenance expenses in both North America and Europe. Uncoated freesheet paper sales volumes were seasonally higher, but were partially offset by higher input costs in North America and Brazil. The start-up of the Franklin mill improved earnings by $12 million.

Consumer Packaging operating profits were $67 million before and after special items, compared with $63 million ($57 million including special items) in the second quarter of 2012. Slow demand and pricing pressure impacted the quarter, but were offset by lower planned maintenance expenses. Earnings in the third quarter for the Foodservice business were strong again and in line with the prior quarter.

xpedx, the company's North American distribution business, reported operating profits of $24 million ($15 million including special items), compared with $17 million ($5 million including special items) in the second quarter of 2012. Seasonal volume improvement was partially offset by lower commercial print margins.

International Paper recorded Ilim Joint Venture equity earnings of $33 million, compared with an equity loss of $25 million in the second quarter of 2012. Weak pulp prices and lower sales volumes of pulp to the Chinese market negatively impacted operational results. Results were also impacted by an after-tax foreign exchange gain of $21 million in the current quarter, after realizing an after-tax loss of $41 million in the second quarter, both due to non-cash adjustments associated with the Ilim Group joint venture's U.S. dollar denominated debt.

Net corporate expenses for the 2012 third quarter were $41 million compared with $45 million in the second quarter of 2012 and $34 million in the third quarter of 2011. The increase compared with the third quarter of 2011 primarily reflects higher pension costs.

Effective Tax Rate
The effective tax rate before special items for the third quarter of 2012 was 31 percent, compared with an effective tax rate before special items of 32 percent in the second quarter of 2012. The lower rate in the 2012 third quarter reflects adjustments to prior year income tax estimates as the result of filing the Company's 2011 income tax returns and the release of tax reserves due to the expiration of statutes of limitation.

Effects of Special Items
Special items in the third quarter of 2012 included pre-tax charges of $33 million ($24 million after taxes) for restructuring and other charges, pre-tax charges of $58 million ($34 million after taxes) for integration costs related to the Temple-Inland acquisition, and pre-tax charges of $19 million ($49 million after taxes) for costs associated with the divestiture of three containerboard mills. Restructuring and other charges included pre-tax charges of $13 million ($8 million after taxes) for debt extinguishment costs, pre-tax charges of $8 million ($4 million after taxes) for costs associated with the restructuring of our xpedx operations, pre-tax charges of $16 million ($11 million after taxes) for costs associated with the restructuring of our Packaging business in Europe, and a net pre-tax gain of $4 million (a charge of $1 million after taxes) for other items.

Special items in the second quarter of 2012 included pre-tax charges of $21 million ($13 million after taxes) for restructuring and other charges, a pre-tax charge of $62 million ($38 million after taxes) to adjust the value of the long-lived assets of the Hueneme mill in Oxnard, California to their fair value in anticipation of its divestiture, pre-tax charges of $35 million ($22 million after taxes) for integration costs related to the Temple-Inland acquisition, pre-tax charges of $9 million ($5 million after taxes) for costs associated with the announced third-quarter 2012 divestiture of the Hueneme mill and two other containerboard mills, and pre-tax charges of $9 million ($7 million after taxes) for other items. Restructuring and other charges included pre-tax charges of $10 million ($6 million after taxes) for debt extinguishment costs, pre-tax charges of $10 million ($6 million after taxes) for costs associated with the restructuring of our xpedx operations and charges of $1 million (before and after taxes) for other items.

Special items in the third quarter of 2011 included a pre-tax charge of $49 million ($32 million after taxes) for restructuring and other charges and a pre-tax charge of $82 million (a gain of $148 million after a $222 million tax benefit and a gain of $8 million related to a non-controlling interest) to reduce the carrying value of our Shorewood business to estimated fair market value. Restructuring and other charges included a pre-tax charge of $16 million ($10 million after taxes) for costs associated with the acquisition of a majority share of Andhra Pradesh Paper Mills Limited in India, a pre-tax charge of $18 million ($13 million after taxes) for costs associated with the restructuring of our xpedx operations, a pre-tax charge of $8 million ($5 million after taxes) for costs associated with the signing of an agreement to acquire Temple-Inland, a pre-tax charge of $6 million ($4 million after taxes) for costs associated with the sale of our Shorewood business, and a pre-tax charge of $1 million ($0 million after taxes) for other items.

Discontinued Operations
Discontinued operations in both the third and second quarters of 2012 included the operating earnings of Temple-Inland's Building Products business. Also included in the third quarter of 2012 are pre-tax charges of $2 million ($1 million after taxes) for expenses associated with pursuing the divestiture of this business.

International Paper (IP) is a global paper and packaging company with manufacturing operations in North America, Europe, Latin America, Russia, Asia and North Africa. Its businesses include uncoated papers and industrial and consumer packaging, complemented by xpedx, the company's North American distribution company. Headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., the company employs approximately 70,000 people and is strategically located in more than 24 countries serving customers worldwide. International Paper net sales for 2011 were $26 billion. Temple-Inland Inc., which was acquired in February 2012, had 2011 net sales of $4 billion. For more information about International Paper, its products and stewardship efforts, visit internationalpaper.com.

SOURCE: International Paper