Kapstone Paper and Packaging Reports First Quarter Record Results on Pricing

May 8, 2013 (Press Release) - KapStone Paper and Packaging Corporation (KS) [yesterday] reported record results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013.

  • Net sales of $319.8 million up $20.0 million, or 7 percent, versus prior year
  • Net income of $18.5 million up $2.9 million, or 19 percent, versus 2012
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $50.7 million up $4.4 million, or 9 percent, versus prior year
  • Diluted EPS of $0.38 up $0.05 per share, or 15 percent, versus 2012
  • Adjusted diluted EPS of $0.42 up $0.04 per share, or 11 percent, versus prior year

Roger W. Stone, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "Our operations performed well during the quarter, propelling the Company to record first quarter results. Average mill selling prices of $653 per ton increased by $45 per ton compared to the first quarter of 2012. In the first quarter of 2013, we realized 2012's domestic containerboard and corrugated price increases, and we benefitted from increasing prices of over $100 per ton on export containerboard sales compared to 2012's first quarter."

First Quarter Operating Highlights

Consolidated net sales of $319.8 million in the first quarter of 2013 increased by $20.0 million, or 6.7 percent, compared to $299.8 million for the 2012 first quarter, primarily due to full realization of the October 2012 $50 per ton containerboard price increase, higher box and sheet prices and continued recovery of export containerboard prices. Average mill selling prices per ton climbed to $653 from $608 a year ago. A better product mix in the 2013 quarter was partially offset by lower volume.

Operating income of $30.8 million for the 2013 first quarter increased by $3.3 million, or 12.1%, compared to the 2012 first quarter. The improved financial performance primarily reflects benefits from higher prices, partially offset by inflation on input, labor and benefit costs, higher outage costs, increased depreciation charges resulting mainly from the 2012 investment in new information systems and start-up expenses for the Company's new manufacturing plant in Aurora, Illinois. The first quarter's operating income included $2.3 million of stock compensation expense. We expect total stock compensation expense to approximate $1 million for each of the remaining three quarters of 2013.

Interest expense was $1.9 million for the first quarter of 2013, down $0.5 million from a year ago mainly due to lower interest rates. At March 31, 2013, the interest rate on the majority of the Company's debt was 1.95 percent down from 2.24 percent a year ago. Amortization of debt issuance costs of $0.7 million for the first quarter of 2013 decreased by $0.2 million from a year ago.

The effective income tax rate for the 2013 first quarter was 33.8 percent compared to 36.0 percent for the 2012 first quarter. The lower effective income tax rate is due to a higher expected benefit from the domestic manufacturing deduction and lower state income taxes. The 2013 rate also includes a favorable discrete benefit for a 2012 R&D tax credit. For 2013, the Company estimates its full year effective income tax rate to be 34.3 percent and its cash tax rate to be 10 percent.

Cash Flow and Working Capital
Cash and cash equivalents decreased by $8.9 million in the quarter ended March 31, 2013, to $7.6 million reflecting $15.6 million of net cash provided by operating activities, $16.8 million of cash used by investing activities and $7.7 million of cash used for financing activities.

Capital expenditures for the first quarter of 2013 totaled $16.8 million which included $7.4 million for the new manufacturing plant in Aurora, Illinois. The Company estimates $73.0 million of capital expenditures for the year.

At March 31, 2013, the Company had approximately $97.4 million of working capital and $95.1 million of revolver borrowing capacity.

Conclusion
In summary, Stone commented, "The April 2013 $50 per ton domestic containerboard price increase should be fully implemented late in the second quarter and should boost our EBITDA by approximately $50 million annually. Our new Aurora, Illinois manufacturing plant made its first shipment in April. With our strong cash flows and balance sheet KapStone is in an excellent position to continue growing profitably."

Headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois, KapStone Paper and Packaging Corporation is a leading North American producer of unbleached kraft paper and corrugated products. The Company is the parent company of KapStone Kraft Paper Corporation and KapStone Container Corporation which includes three paper mills and 15 converting plants across the eastern and midwestern US. The business employs approximately 2,700 people. For additional information, visit: www.kapstonepaper.com

SOURCE: KapStone Paper and Packaging Corp