Sales Rise at International Paper

The company says overall pricing appears flat for the third quarter.
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International Paper

(IP) - Get Report

, which is in the midst of considering a

massive operational restructuring, said second-quarter sales rose from a year ago, and the company's adjusted profit surpassed Wall Street's estimates.

The Stamford, Conn., forest products concern reported second-quarter earnings of $77 million, or 16 cents a share, compared with $193 million, or 40 cents a share, last year. The 2004 second quarter included 27 cents a share of earnings from discontinued operations. Earnings from continuing operations totaled 13 cents in the prior-year second quarter.

Earnings from continuing operations and before special items in the quarter fell to $150 million, or 31 cents a share, from $159 million, or 33 cents a share last year.

Quarterly net sales rose to $6.5 billion from $6.2 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were, on average, looking for a profit of 27 cents a share and sales of $6.5 billion for the quarter.

"We anticipated some modest improvement in the second quarter following our strongest first quarter in years," Chairman and Chief Executive John Faraci said in a press release. "However, while pricing was up slightly from the first quarter, sales volumes in our printing papers and industrial packaging businesses were lower than we expected."

For the third quarter, the company said demand looks mixed and overall pricing appears flat. "Our raw material costs remain at high levels and continue to impact our profit margins," the company said.