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Verso Paper's CEO Discusses Q3 2011 - Earnings Call Transcript

Verso Paper Corp. ( VRS)

Q3 2011 Earnings Call

November 7, 2011 9:00 am ET

Executives

Robert P. Mundy – Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President

Michael A. Jackson – President, Chief Executive Officer & Director

Analysts

Joe Stivaletti – Goldman Sachs

Bruce Klein – Credit Suisse

Tarek Hamid – JP Morgan

James Daly – Deutsche Bank

Richard Kus – Jefferies & Company

Chip Dillon – Vertical Research Partners

Gary Madia – Gleecher & Company

Bill Hoffman – RBC Capital Markets

Jeff Harlib – Barclays Capital

Michael Marshuk – UBS

Kevin Cohen – Imperial Capital

Eric B. Anderson – Hartford Financial

Presentation

Operator

Welcome to the Verso Paper Corporation third quarter 2011 earnings conference call. Today’s conference is being recorded. At this time I would like to turn the conference over to Mr. Robert Mundy, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Robert P. Mundy

Thank you for joining Verso Paper’s third quarter 2011 earnings conference call. Representing Verso today on this call is President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Jackson and myself Robert Mundy, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Before turning the call over to Mike, I’d like to remind everyone that in the course of this call in order to give you a better understanding of our performance, we will be making certain forward-looking statements.

These forward-looking statements are subject to risk and uncertainties. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions or estimate prove correct, actual results may vary materially from management’s expectations. If you would like further information regarding the various risks and uncertainties associated with our business, please refer to our various SEC filings which are posted on our website www.VersoPaper.com under the investor relations tab.

Michael A. Jackson

If you could turn to Slide Three, our adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $64.2 million which was $18 million above the third quarter of last year and $20 million above the second quarter of 2011. Operating income increased 136% to $30.6 million from $12.9 in the third quarter of 2010 and from $7 Million in the second quarter this year. Looking at it in key comparisons, we find that our total volume was up over 15% from Q211 but down slightly, about 2% from last year. The average selling price for our product line was up 8% and revenue was up 6%. Prices were up slightly from Q2 of this year. Gross margins before depreciation rose to 17.8% or a 2.7% increase over the second quarter of 2011.

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