Feb. 04--Extreme winter weather has cost International Paper Co. in recent weeks, but officials of the Memphis-based paper and corrugated packaging corporation on Tuesday said higher earnings in the fourth quarter and full year of 2013 are signs of momentum in the new year.
Winter weather that triggered higher costs, lost production and lost sales in January and early February could take a $40 million to $50 million bite out of the company's bottom line the first quarter of this year, but chairman John Faraci said it will be a temporary hiccup.
"I think we're going to get beyond this and 2014 certainly looks like a significantly better year for International Paper on top of a good year, a good solid year in 2013, even with January hopefully behind us," Faraci during a conference call with Wall Street analysts.
For the fourth quarter of 2013, the company reported net earnings of $436 million, or 98 cents per share, on revenue of $7.25 billion compared with $235, or 53 cents per share on $7.07 billion for the same period in 2012.
Excluding one-time items and pension expenses, the company reported operating earnings of 83 cents per share for the quarter, compared to 69 cents a year before.
The 83 cents per share fell below analysts expectations of 87 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
For the year, the company reported profits of $3.11 per share, compared with $1.80 for 2012.
International Paper's workforce includes 70,000 people globally, including about 2,400 in the Memphis area.
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