International Paper Company Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component International Paper Company (NYSE:IP) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, February 2, 2012. International Paper is a global paper and packaging company with operations in North America, Europe, Latin America, Russia, Asia and North Africa.

International Paper Company Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of 61 cents per share, a decline of 10.3% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 62 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved up. It has dropped from 63 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 49.8% versus last year to $3.07.

Past Earnings Performance: Last quarter, the company beat estimates by 12 cents, coming in at profit of 92 cents a share versus the estimate of net income of 80 cents a share. It marked the fourth straight quarter of beating estimates.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $6.5 billion in revenue this quarter, a decline of 0.5% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $26.19 billion for the year, a rise of 4% from last year’s revenue of $25.18 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock with 10 analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and one rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose 30.5% to $518 million ($1.19 a share) from $397 million (91 cents a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue fell 1.3% to $6.63 billion from $6.72 billion.

Key Stats:

A year-over-year revenue decrease in the third quarter snapped a streak of three consecutive quarters of revenue increases. Revenue rose 8.6%in the second quarter, 10% in the first quarter and 9.3% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Competitors to Watch: Clearwater Paper Corp (NYSE:CLW), P.H. Glatfelter Company (NYSE:GLT), Wausau Paper Corp. (NYSE:WPP), MeadWestvaco Corp. (NYSE:MWV), KapStone Paper and Packaging Corp. (NYSE:KS), Boise Inc. (NYSE:BZ), Buckeye Technologies Inc. (NYSE:BKI), Fibria Celulose S.A. (NYSE:FBR), and Domtar Corp. (NYSE:UFS).

Stock Price Performance: During November 29, 2011 to January 27, 2012, the stock price had risen $4.31 (16.2%) from $26.67 to $30.98. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between December 30, 2011 and January 10, 2012 when shares rose for seven-straight days, rising 5.8% (+$1.72) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between July 28, 2011 and August 8, 2011 when shares fell for eight-straight days, falling 23.9% (-$7.15) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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