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Rock-Tenn Company's CEO Discusses F4Q 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

This morning I will begin with a commentary on the performance of our businesses during the quarter and then Steve will provide an overview of the progress we're making on capturing synergies and performance improvements until discuss non-operating items in our financial statements including interest taxes, financing, pension and some key forecasting assumptions for 2012. After our prepared comments, Steve and I will be available for questions.

Our co–workers delivered another solid quarter and financial results with very good operating performance across our businesses in an environment of stable demand and high commodity input costs. Our adjusted earnings of $1.70 per share reflect this performance and the continued successful integration of the Smurfit-Stone acquisition. We estimate that the acquisition added $0.55 per share to adjusted earnings for the quarter. We also estimate that higher fiber costs reduced earnings by $0.11 per share and other input costs aggregated to reduction of $0.06 per share.

Our GAAP earnings included $0.35 per share of primarily acquisition-related restructuring charges, of which $0.11 per share were non-cash write-downs of assets that were closing as we realign our acquired business assets, $0.03 per share for the remainder of the acquired inventory GAAP step up, and then my personal favorite for this quarter a $0.15 per share GAAP loss on an intercompany loans.

As we explained in our press release, our Canadian operations hold less money to the U.S. operations as a result of the strengthening dollars. So even though there was no net change to us, GAAP requires us to record a loss in net income on the financial statements and a gain accumulated other comprehensive income in the footnotes. At the end of this quarter, we repaid this loan with Canadian bank borrowings, so this accounting noise will not recur in the future. Comparing our quarter-over-quarter results by segment, there is $0.67 per share Corrugated segment increase due to the acquisition, a $0.20 per share increase in our consumer segment and a higher interest expense in share count expense of $0.10 and $0.37 per share, respectively.

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