International Paper Earnings Cheat Sheet: Impressive Double-Digit Sales Growth

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component International Paper Co. (NYSE:IP) swung to a profit in the first quarter and beat Wall Street’s expectations in the process. International Paper Co. is a global paper and packaging company with operations in North America, Europe, Latin America, Russia, Asia and North Africa.

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International Paper Earnings Cheat Sheet for the First Quarter

Results: Swung to a profit of $342 million (78 cents/diluted share) in the quarter. The paper company had a net loss of $162 million or a loss of 38 cents per share in the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 10% to $6.39 billion YoY.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: IP beat the mean analyst estimate of 59 cents/share. Estimates ranged from 50 cents per share to 63 cents per share.

Quoting Management: “First-quarter results reflect continued strong performances across all of our global mill businesses,” said John Faraci, chairman and chief executive officer. “Industrial Packaging and Printing Papers continued to post solid results, and Consumer Packaging delivered significantly higher earnings. Europe continued its strong performances in paper and packaging and the contribution from our Ilim joint venture also increased. As a result of these strong across-the-board results, first-quarter free cash flow was in-line with our expectations and we remain confident in our earnings and cash flow outlook for 2011.”

Key Stats: From the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, the company’s current liabilities rose to $8.16 billion from $4.5 billion.

Over the last five quarters, revenue has increased 8.1% on average year over year. The biggest increase came in the third quarter of the last fiscal year, when revenue rose 13.5% from the year earlier quarter.

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), UPM-Kymmene Corp. (UPMKY), Buckeye Technologies Inc. (NYSE:BKI), Fibria Celulose S.A. (NYSE:FBR), and Domtar Corp. (NYSE:UFS).

Today’s Performance: Shares of IP are trading at $29.98 as of April 28, 2011 at 7:58 AM ET, unchanged from the previous close.


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