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International Paper


met analysts' sharply lowered earnings estimates for the first quarter, a period in which the weaker U.S. economy and the strong dollar contributed to a dramatic slowdown in orders.

The Purchase, N.Y., paper and forest products company earned $24 million, or 5 cents a share, before extraordinary items. The company earned $249 million, or 60 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Analysts expected the company to earn 5 cents, according to

Thomson Financial/First Call

. In March, the company, a component of the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

, lowered its guidance for the quarter.

Sales for the quarter ended March 31 rose to $6.9 billion from $6.4 billion in the same period a year ago. Figures for the year-ago first quarter don't include the results of

Champion International

, which International Paper acquired last June.

Shares of International Paper lost 31 cents, or 0.8%, to $36.79 in recent

New York Stock Exchange