International Paper Reports Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2018 Earnings

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MEMPHIS, Tenn., Jan. 31, 2019 -- International Paper (NYSE: IP) today reported fourth quarter 2018 net earnings attributable to International Paper of $316 million ($0.78 per diluted share) compared with $562 million ($1.37 per diluted share) in the third quarter of 2018 and net earnings of $1.5 billion ($3.50 per diluted share) in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Full-year 2018 net earnings were $2.0 billion ($4.85 per diluted share) compared with net earnings of $2.1 billion ($5.13 per diluted share) for full-year 2017. Fourth quarter and full-year 2017 net earnings included a provisional net tax benefit of $1.2 billion ($2.93 per diluted share) related to the U.S. enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 reported as a special item. Net earnings in all periods include the impact of special items, if any, non-operating pension expense and discontinued operations.

"International Paper delivered very strong earnings and returns in the fourth quarter and full year 2018, driven by solid commercial and operational performance across our three businesses," said Mark Sutton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We returned $1.5 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases, and we further strengthened our balance sheet. As we enter 2019, we are confident in our ability to continue to generate strong returns and grow cash flow to create value for our shareholders."

Adjusted operating earnings in the fourth quarter of 2018 were $670 million ($1.65 per diluted share) compared with $641 million ($1.56 per diluted share) in the third quarter of 2018 and $530 million ($1.27 per diluted share) in the fourth quarter of 2017. Full-year 2018 adjusted operating earnings totaled $2.2 billion ($5.32 per diluted share) compared with $1.5 billion ($3.49 per diluted share) in 2017.

Net sales were $6.0 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared with $5.9 billion in the third quarter of 2018 and $5.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017. Annual net sales totaled $23.3 billion in 2018 compared with $21.7 billion in 2017.

Business segment operating profits were $930 million in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared with $738 million in the third quarter of 2018 and $824 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. Full-year business segment operating profits were $2.9 billion in 2018 compared with $2.1 billion in 2017.

Cash provided by (used for) operations was $3.2 billion for the full-year 2018 compared with $1.8 billion in 2017. Cash provided by (used for) operations was $821 million in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared with $1.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017. Free cash flow (non-GAAP) was $1.7 billion for the full-year 2018 and $2.0 billion in 2017. Free cash flow (non-GAAP) was $535 million in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared with $732 million in the fourth quarter of 2017.

View complete report

Source: International Paper

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