Verso Paper Corp. Reports First Quarter 2012 Results

Verso Paper Corp. (NYSE: VRS) today reported financial results for the first quarter of 2012. Results for the quarters ended March 31, 2012 and 2011 include:
  • Operating loss of $12.3 million in 2012 compared to operating income of $14.1 million in 2011.
  • Net loss before items of $39.0 million in 2012, or $0.74 per diluted share, compared to a net loss before items of $18.1 million, or $0.34 per diluted share in 2011.
  • Adjusted EBITDA before pro forma effects of profitability program of $25.3 million in 2012, compared to $47.0 million in 2011. (Note: EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are non-GAAP financial measures and are defined and reconciled to net income later in this release).
  • Refinancing transactions push back approximately $840 million of 2012-2016 maturities to 2017 and 2019, capture significant debt discount and enhance financial flexibility. Less than 7% of Verso’s debt now matures before 2016.

Overview

Verso’s net sales for the first quarter of 2012 decreased $41.3 million, or 9.9%, reflecting an 8.2% decrease in sales volume and a 1.9% decrease in the average sales price for all of our products. Typically the first quarter is a seasonally slow quarter due to lower demand for coated paper. However, prior year results were positively impacted by unusually high sales volume for coated papers in March of 2011. The decline in sales volume for the first quarter of 2012 was also impacted by the permanent shutdown of three paper machines in the fourth quarter of 2011. The lower average sales price for all of our products reflects a decline in the price of pulp while coated paper prices remained flat compared to the first quarter of 2011. We announced a price increase of $60 per ton on coated groundwood and $30 per ton on coated freesheet, effective May 1, 2012. Additionally, three pulp price increases, each for $30 per metric ton, have been announced since March 1.

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