RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — MeadWestvaco Corp. said Tuesday its third-quarter profit jumped nearly 57 percent as the packaging company's sales grew and it lowered costs.
But its revenue and net income excluding one-time items came in below Wall Street expectations and its stock slipped more than 8 percent.
The Richmond, Va., company reported earnings of $80 million, or 44 cents per share, for the period ended September 30. That's up from $51 million, or 28 cents per share, a year ago when it had a $16 million, or 10 cents a share, loss from discontinued operations.
On an adjusted basis, MeadWestvaco earned 49 cents per share, missing Wall Street expectations by a penny.
Revenue increased nearly 3 percent to $1.43 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet expected revenue of $1.46 billion.
Sales in its industrial segment grew about 16 percent to $132 million, sales in its specialty chemical business for asphalt, adhesives, inks and oilfield drilling increased 2 percent to $260 million, and sales in its food and beverage packaging segment slipped about 1 percent to $796 million. Sales in its home, health and beauty packaging segment fell about 1 percent to $185 million.
Its land sales increased about 80 percent to $63 million as it sold 16,700 acres and profited from forestry operations and leasing activities.
On Monday, MeadWestvaco announced it is selling its U.S. forestland to Plum Creek Timber Co. for $934 million. The sale includes about 501,000 acres in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. The company will keep its oil and natural gas rights on 191,000 acres in West Virginia. Seattle-based Plum Creek, a timber real estate investment trust, will pay $74 million in cash and $860 million in a 10-year installment note.
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