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Wausau Paper Announces Fourth-Quarter, Year-End Financial Results

Wausau Paper (NYSE:WPP) today reported that:
  • Fourth-quarter net losses of $0.58 per share compared to net earnings of $0.31 per share a year ago. Excluding special items, adjusted net earnings of $0.04 per share compared to $0.14 per share in the prior year.
  • Full-year net losses of $0.44 per share compared to prior-year net earnings of $0.75 per share. Excluding special items, adjusted net earnings of $0.25 per share compared with $0.48 per share a year ago, reflecting year-over-year fiber and energy cost increases equivalent to $0.32 per share.
  • The Company completed the previously announced sale of its print & color premium brands and plans to close papermaking operations at its Brokaw manufacturing facility in the first quarter of 2012. As a result, fourth-quarter and full-year results included after-tax asset impairment and other closure charges equivalent to $1.08 per share.
  • During 2011, the Company completed the sale of its remaining timberland holdings, recording a fourth-quarter gain of $0.47 per share.

CONSOLIDATED RESULTSThe Company reported fourth-quarter net losses of $28.7 million, or $0.58 per share, compared with net earnings of $15.2 million, or $0.31 per share, in the prior year. Net sales decreased 3 percent to $252.7 million while shipments decreased 6 percent to 153,000 tons due primarily to planned reductions in the Paper segment’s print & color market category.

Fourth-quarter results included an after-tax charge of $52.9 million, or $1.08 per share, related to the planned 2012 closure of the Paper segment’s Brokaw paper mill; after-tax timberland sales gains of $23.0 million, or $0.47 per share; and after-tax capital-related expenses of $0.6 million, or $0.01 per share. Prior-year results included a tax credit of $12.7 million, or $0.26 per share, related to the cellulosic biofuel producers tax credit; an after-tax charge of $2.4 million, or $0.05 per share, related to a rate adjustment associated with a contract for a former manufacturing facility; and an after-tax curtailment charge of $1.9 million, or $0.04 per share, due to the freezing of benefits associated with a cash balance pension plan. Excluding these items, adjusted fourth-quarter net earnings were $1.8 million, or $0.04 per share, compared with prior-year adjusted net earnings of $6.7 million, or $0.14 per share. Although this comparison is a non-GAAP measure, the Company believes that the presentation of adjusted net earnings provides a useful analysis of ongoing operating trends. Adjusted net earnings for the three-month and year-end results are reconciled to GAAP earnings below.
    3 Months Ended     12 Months Ended
December 31 December 31

2011
 

2010

2011
 

2010
GAAP Net (Losses) Earnings Per Share $(0.58 ) $0.31 $(0.44 ) $0.75
Facility Closure Charges (1) 1.08 0.05 1.08 0.05
Gain on Sale of Timberlands (0.47 ) - (0.47 ) (0.10 )
Capital Related Expense (2) 0.01 - 0.08 -
Brokaw Mill Operating Schedule (3) - - 0.01 -
Income Taxes (4) - (0.26 ) - (0.26 )
Curtailment – Cash Balance Pension Plan - 0.04 - 0.04

 

 

 

 
Adjusted Net Earnings Per Share $0.04   $0.14   $0.25   $0.48  
 
Note: Totals may not foot due to rounding differences
 

(1) 2011 charges represent asset impairment and other exit costs related to the announced 2012 closure of a paper mill in Brokaw, Wisconsin. 2010 charges are associated with a natural gas transportation contract rate adjustment for a former manufacturing facility in Groveton, New Hampshire.

(2) 2011 expenses associated with the rebuild of a paper machine in Brainerd, Minnesota, and the Tissue expansion project at Harrodsburg, Kentucky.

(3) 2011 expenses related to the transition of Brokaw mill operations from a 7 to a 5 day-per-week schedule.

(4) 2010 relates primarily to the cellulosic biofuel producers tax credit.
 

For the full-year 2011, adjusted net earnings of $12.4 million, or $0.25 per share, compared with adjusted net earnings of $23.8 million, or $0.48 per share, in the prior year. Net sales decreased 2 percent to $1,035 million while shipments declined 6 percent to 627,000 tons.

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