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International Paper Profit Slips on Material Costs

International Paper posted lower first-quarter earnings on Wednesday and also fell short of Wall Street expectations as price increases failed to offset higher raw material costs.

The Memphis, Tennessee-based company's results were also hurt as its uncoated paper shipment volumes fell 7 percent in North America and 1 percent in Europe.

Net income dropped to $133 million, or 31 cents a share, from $434 million, or 97 cents a share, a year earlier.

Earnings from continuing operations, excluding one-time items, fell to 41 cents a share from 45 cents. Wall Street was anticipating 51 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Net sales rose 8.6 percent to $5.67 billion. Analysts, on average, had forecast $5.60 billion.

"The first quarter was a tough quarter," International Paper CEO John Faraci said on CNBC.
"Our input costs on, energy, wood, chemicals, freight, were up three times as much as our pricing...Having said that, it was the second best first quarter in eight years."

"If the economy is as weak as everybody is talking about, and I think it is, our results are holding up."

-- Reuters contributed to this report.

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