Packaging Corp. of America (PKG)

Q2 2010 Earnings Call

July 20, 2010 10:00 AM ET


Paul Stecko – Executive Chairman

Mark Kowlzan – Chief Executive Officer

Tom Hassfurther - Executive Vice President, Corrugated Products Business

Rick West - Chief Financial Officer


Mark Weintraub – Buckingham Research

Chip Dillon – Credit Suisse

George Staphos – Bank of America

Rick Skidmore – Goldman Sachs

Mark Wilde – Deutsche Bank

Mark Connelly – Credit Agricole

Claudia Shank Hueston – JPMorgan

Michael Bolosi – Voyant Advisors

Andy Feinman – Iridian Asset Management

Joshua Zaret – Longbow Research



Thank you for joining Packaging Corporation of America’s Second Quarter 2010 Earnings Conference Call. Your host today will be Paul Stecko, Executive Chairman. Upon conclusion of the narrative, there will be a Q&A session.

I will now turn the conference call over to Mr. Stecko. Please go ahead when you’re ready.

Paul Stecko

Thank you and good morning. And welcome to PCA’s second quarter earnings release conference call. I’m Paul Stecko and with me on the call today are Mark Kowlzan, our CEO; Tom Hassfurther, our Executive Vice President of the Corrugated Products Business; and Rick West, PCA’s Chief Financial Officer. Thanks for participating in the call and as usual, after we complete the presentation, we’ll be glad to take any questions.

As I think most of you on the call know, we recently announced the separation of the Chairman and CEO roles at PCA, with Mark Kowlzan being named as CEO. Accordingly, after I make some opening remarks about the second quarter, I’ll turn it over to Mark, who will provide you with the specific details of our second quarter results and operations, as well as, our third quarter outlook.

We had an outstanding quarter operationally in both our mills and our box plants in the second quarter. Earnings were significantly higher than we expected entering the quarter, driven by stronger volume, a faster pass-through of our April containerboard price increase to boxes, a richer mix of corrugated and containerboard shipments with more displays and value-added products and a lower volume of containerboard exports.

In all phase, these all our operations we executed very well, especially considering the significant challenges we face with major annual maintenance outages at three of our four mills and our relatively low level of containerboard inventory.

With respect to revenues, our sales in the second quarter came within $5 million of our all time record, which was set in the third quarter of 2008 and the third quarter is usually our strongest quarter sales-wise.

Entering the third quarter this year, we are much better positioned capacity-wise with all of our maintenance outages completed for the year. However, at our current containerboard inventory levels, our mills will continue to need to run well in order to meet demand begin to replenish inventories, which in turn will help us reduce our freight costs.

With that brief introduction, I’d like to turn it over to Mark, who will get into the specifics of our results and operations.

Mark Kowlzan

Thank you, Paul. I’d also like to thank everybody for joining us this morning. Yesterday, we reported second quarter earnings of $38 million or $0.37 per share, which included an after-tax charge of $1 million or about 1 penny a share from asset disposals related to the Counce and Valdosta major energy projects.

The reported results for the second quarter of 2009 were net income of $109 million or $1.07 per share, which included $80 million or $0.79 per share from alternative fuel mixture credits. The net sales for the second quarter were $615 million up 12%, compared to $549 million in the second quarter of 2009. Excluding the asset disposal charge, net income was $39 million or $0.38 per share versus the second quarter of 2009 earnings, excluding alternative fuel mixture credits of $29 million or $0.28 per share.

The increase in earnings per share compared to last year was driven by higher containerboard and corrugated products prices and a richer mix of $0.12 per share, higher volume of $0.08 per share and lower energy costs of $0.02 per share. These increases were partially offset by higher recycled fiber costs of $0.06 per share, increased wood costs of $0.03 per share and higher transportation costs of $0.02 per share.

Excluding the alternative fuel mixture credits and energy project related asset disposal charges, net income for the first six months of 2010 was $52 million or $0.50 per share, compared to $54 million or $0.53 per share in 2009. Year-to-date sales were $1.17 billion, compared to $1.06 billion in 2009.

Our corrugated products demand was up 8% over last year’s second quarter in both total shipments and shipments per work day with the same number of work days.

As you might recall, our demand started picking up in the second quarter of last year, so we are starting to compare against stronger year-over-year comps. Demand in April and May was up a very strong 8.8% and 9.6% respectively, compared to last year. June demand, while not quite as strong as April and May was up a healthy 5.8% over last year.

Our outside sales of containerboard were up about 12,000 tons or 12% over last year’s second quarter. We were limited in what we can sell to this market due to our low inventory levels and strong demand for board to supply our own box plants.

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