revenue eased and second-quarter earnings dropped 59% from last year, but the company's results beat Wall Street's expectations.
The producer of paper and wood products earned $88 million, or 19 cents a share, for the second quarter, down from $215 million or 45 cents a share, in the same quarter last year, according to a Thursday press release.
International Paper's second-quarter sales dipped to $6.2 billion from $6.3 billion in 2002.
Despite the drop, the earnings beat analysts' predictions and the bottom line from the first quarter, when the company earned $44 million, or 9 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected 17 cents a share in the second quarter.
"We improved our earnings since the first quarter in a lackluster economy through our strong manufacturing operations, better product mix and administrative cost-control measures," Chairman and CEO John Dillon said in a prepared statement. "Energy and weather-related wood costs remained high, volumes were slightly lower than the first quarter and prices declined in uncoated paper, linerboard and boxes."
The company's shares were recently unchanged at $38.58.
Going forward, International Paper expects flat demand, but said raw material and energy costs should improve from the second quarter.