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Neenah Paper, Inc. (NYSE:NP) today reported earnings from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of 2012 of $0.55 per diluted common share compared with earnings of $0.47 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2011. After excluding $0.05 per share ($1.5 million pre-tax) of costs incurred in 2012 for integration of acquired fine paper brands and the early redemption of bonds, adjusted earnings per share in the fourth quarter of 2012 of $0.60 increased 28 percent compared with the prior year period.
Net sales of $192.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 grew 16 percent compared with $165.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. Increases resulted primarily from growth in Fine Paper due to acquired brands, as well as higher Technical Products and Other sales. Consolidated operating income of $15.9 million ($17.4 million adjusted) in the fourth quarter of 2012 increased 28 percent on an adjusted basis as a result of the higher sales and lower manufacturing costs.
For the full year, 2012 net sales of $808.8 million increased 16 percent compared with $696.0 million in 2011. Adjusted operating income of $80.3 million in 2012 increased 36 percent compared with 2011, while 2012 adjusted earnings per diluted share of $2.78 increased 46 percent from $1.91 in 2011. Adjusted earnings is a non-GAAP measure and is reconciled to comparable GAAP measures later in this release. On a GAAP basis compared with prior year, 2012 earnings per diluted share of $2.41 grew 32 percent and operating income of $70.4 million increased 24 percent.
"In 2012, Neenah grew significantly and each of our businesses successfully increased sales in targeted niche markets, improved operating margins and increased returns on capital. In addition, we deployed our cash flow in ways that created value and delivered attractive returns for our shareholders,” said John O’Donnell, Chief Executive Officer. “With consistent investments to extend our capabilities and grow in technical products, as well as an expanded retail platform in fine paper, we are well positioned to deliver additional value as we act on the market opportunities within each of our businesses.”