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Buckeye Technologies' CEO Discusses F4Q2012 Results - Earnings Call

With a strong gross margin of 23.6$, our quarter four adjusted earnings of $26 million or $0.66 per share was a good quarter given the impact of the unplanned outage. This compares with adjusted earnings of $28 million, or $0.68 per share, and $27 million, or $0.67 per share, for the same quarter last year, and immediately preceding quarter respectively.

We continue to focus on generating strong cash flow and taking a balanced approach to the allocation of capital. Yesterday the Board of Directors voted to pay a quarterly cash dividend on $0.08 per share on September 14 th, 2012. During quarter four, we applied $22 million to share repurchases, $12 million to debt reduction, and increased our cash on the balance sheet by $10 million, leaving us with net debt on June 30 th of approximately $11 million. As I can as first of August, our net debt is now zero.

Also, we increased our CapEx in the quarter to $39 million from $22 million in quarter 3 as we ramped up spending on the specialty expansion project.

Fiscal 2012 was another record year for Buckeye. Our sales revenue of $895 million, our adjusted net income of $111 million, and our return on invested capital of 16.5% were all records. It was a very productive year with the completion of the energy project, the groundbreaking on our specialty fibers expansion project, the closure and sale of our Americana assets, the sale of our King converting facility, and the positioning of our Delta facility for closure and sale of the property by the end of calendar year 2012. These assets were underperforming and are noncore to our growth strategy.

Excluding the income from cellusoic biofuel credit, noncash asset impairment charges, and other special items, Buckeye’s adjusted earnings was strong at $111 million, or $2.76 per share in fiscal 2012. This compares with adjusted earnings from fiscal 2011 of $91 million, or $2.23 per share, a 24% earnings growth.

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