International Paper Company IP reported third-quarter 2020 adjusted earnings of 71 cents per share, which outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 48 cents. However, the bottom line declined 35% year over year from $1.09 reported in the prior year quarter. The downside was due to disappointing performances across all segments.
Including one-time items, the company posted earnings per share of 52 cents during the the third quarter of 2020 compared with the year-ago quarter’s 87 cents.
Net sales declined 8% to $5,123 million in the third quarter from the year-ago quarter’s $5,568 million. However, the top line surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $5,031 million.
International Paper Company Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
International Paper Company price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | International Paper Company Quote
Cost of sales was $3,541 million, down from the prior-year quarter’s $3,772 million. Gross profit declined 12% year over year to $1,582 million. Selling and administrative expenses fell 6% year over year to $363 million during the reported quarter. Segment adjusted operating profit came in at $280 million, reflecting a year-over-year plunge of 35%.
Industrial Packaging: Sales in this segment decreased 1% year over year to $3,768 million in the third quarter from the year-earlier quarter’s $3,820 million. Operating profit fell 12% year over year to $469 million.
Global Cellulose Fibers: This segment’s sales were $564 million in the third quarter, down 10% from the prior-year quarter. The segment incurred an operating loss of $59 million, against the year-ago quarter’s operating profit of $4 million.
Printing Papers: Sales of this segment came in at $743 million, down 31% from the $1,071 million reported in the year-earlier quarter. The segment’s operating profit plunged 61% year over year to $63 million in third-quarter 2020.
Cash and temporary investments aggregated $678 million as of Sep 30, 2020 compared with $511 million as of Dec 31, 2019. As of Sep 30, 2020, long-term debt was $8.5 billion compared with $9.6 billion as of Dec 31, 2019.
Cash flow from operating activities was $2.3 billion in the first nine-month period of 2020 compared with the $2.7 billion generated in the prior-year comparable period. Free cash flow was $616 million in the reported quarter compared with the prior-year quarter’s $597 million.
International Paper’s shares have fallen 6.6% year to date, compared with the industry’s decline of 10.3%.
Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider
International Paper currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Some other top-ranked stocks in the basic materials space are Agnico Eagle Mines Limited AEM, Barrick Gold Corporation GOLD and Newmont Corporation NEM. While Agnico Eagle Mines sports a Zacks Rank #1, Barrick Gold and Newmont carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Agnico Eagle Mines has an expected earnings growth rate of 102% for the current year. The company’s shares have surged 24% year to date.
Barrick Gold has a projected earnings growth rate of 99% for the current year. The company’s shares have gained 39% year to date.
Newmont has an estimated earnings growth rate of 91% for the ongoing year. Its shares have appreciated 35% so far this year.
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