Packaging Of America Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Packaging of America (PKG)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

July 17, 2012 10:00 am ET

Executives

Mark W. Kowlzan - Chief Executive Officer and Director

Richard B. West - Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer and Senior Vice President

Paul T. Stecko - Executive Chairman

Thomas A. Hassfurther - Executive Vice President of Corrugated Products

Analysts

Chip A. Dillon - Vertical Research Partners Inc.

Phil M. Gresh - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Anthony Pettinari - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Mark A. Weintraub - The Buckingham Research Group Incorporated

George L. Staphos - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Mark Wilde - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Mark W. Connelly - Credit Agricole Securities (USA) Inc., Research Division

Philip Ng - Jefferies & Company, Inc., Research Division

Scott Gaffner - Barclays Capital, Research Division

Albert T. Kabili - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Joshua L. Zaret - Longbow Research LLC

Alex Ovshey Ovshey - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Presentation

Operator

Thank you for joining Packaging Corporation of America's Second Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. Your host today will be Mr. Mark Kowlzan, Chief Executive Officer of PCA. [Operator Instructions] I will now turn the conference call over to Mr. Kowlzan, and please proceed when you are ready.

Mark W. Kowlzan

Good morning, and welcome to Packaging Corporation of America's Second Quarter Earnings Release Conference Call. I'm Mark Kowlzan, CEO of PCA, and with me on the call today is Paul Stecko, our Executive Chairman; Tom Hassfurther, who runs our Corrugated business; and Rick West, PCA's Chief Financial Officer. Thanks for participating in the call this morning, and after the presentation, we'll be glad to take any questions.

Yesterday, we reported second quarter net income of $45 million or $0.46 per share, which included after-tax debt refinancing charges of $2.5 million or $0.025 per share. Excluding the refinancing charges, earnings were $48 million or $0.49 per share, which is the second quarter record compared to the second quarter 2011 net income of $40 million or $0.39 per share. Net sales were a record $712 million, up 7% compared to the second quarter of 2011 net sales of $665 million.

The $0.10 per share increase in net income, excluding the refinancing charges, was driven by higher containerboard and corrugated products volume of $0.07; and lower costs for energy, $0.05; recycled fiber, $0.02; chemicals, $0.02; and maintenance, $0.02. These items were partially offset by higher costs for transportation of $0.02; medical, $0.02; depreciation, $0.02; and interest expense, $0.02.

Excluding special items, net income for the first 6 months of 2012 was a record $88 million or $0.91 per share compared to the net income for the first 6 months of 2011 of $79 million or $0.78 per share, excluding special items. Year-to-date net sales were record $1.4 billion compared to the $1.3 billion in 2011.

Overall, we had another strong quarter setting several records and generating earnings, excluding special items, $0.04 per share better than the earnings guidance we provided on April 17.

The higher earnings came from better-than-forecasted mill cost and better-than-expected export prices, and better-than-expected mix improvement in the corrugated business. We also achieved all-time record corrugated product shipments and record second quarter mill production despite having 3 of our mills down for their annual maintenance outages during the quarter.

In addition to strong operations, we completed important strategic action during the quarter, the refinancing of $400 million in notes due in 2013. Considering the risks and uncertainties in the debt market, we're very pleased to have this refinancing behind us, and Rick West will provide more details on the refinancing later on the call.

Moving to operations. Higher mill production and corrugated products volume improved our earnings by $0.07 per share compared to last year's second quarter. Our corrugated shipments were strong, up 6.6% both on a total and a per day workday basis compared to last year's second quarter. This increase in shipments included 3.6% from our box plant acquisition in 2011 and our first quarter 2012 acquisition. Even excluding our recent acquisitions, total shipments were a new all-time record for any quarter. Our corrugated shipments volume also improved compared to the first quarter of this year, with total shipments up 2.7% and per workday shipments up 4.3%, with 1 less workday in the second quarter.

Domestic and export containerboard demand remained steady compared to the first quarter. With the higher containerboard consumption at PCA box plants from increased demand and considering that 3 of our mills will be down during the quarter for their annual maintenance outages, we made a decision to sell fewer containerboard tons into the export market. As a result, our export shipments of containerboard were down about 13,000 tons compared to last year's second quarter.

Our mills produced 638,000 tons of containerboard, a second quarter record, up 32,000 tons or 5.3% over the second quarter of 2011. The increase in production was driven by strong productivity and no energy project-related downtime this year. In total, annual mill maintenance outages, including an overhaul for the 23 days of our 50-megawatt turbine generator accounts and major wall panel replacements to the large T2 boiler accounts, resulted in lost production of about 23,000 tons during the quarter.

Pricing for corrugated products and domestic containerboard remained steady. Export prices for containerboard were higher, and our corrugated products mix improved compared to the first quarter. Compared to the second quarter of 2011, corrugated and domestic containerboard pricing was essentially flat and export containerboard prices were lower. The lower export prices reduced our earnings by about $0.01 a share compared to last year's second quarter.

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