Rayonier 3Q profit falls but tops Street's view

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Rayonier said Thursday that its third-quarter net income dropped 23 percent, pulled down by an interest tax expense while the year-ago period included a tax gain. The results still topped Wall Street's view.

The forest products company earned $80.6 million, or 62 cents per share, compared with $104.9 million, or 71 cents per share, during the same period a year ago.

The current quarter included an interest tax expense of $24.6 million. The prior-year period included an income tax benefit of $8.6 million.

Revenue for the three months ended Sept. 30 climbed 6 percent to $409 million.

Analysts forecast profit of 60 cents per share on revenue of $412.7 million, according to FactSet.

Sales for the performance fibers segment rose with higher cellulose specialties prices and more cellulose specialties volumes. In the forest resources division, sales rose in the Gulf States region on timberland acquisitions last year.

Rayonier Inc. still expects full-year earnings to be comparable to 2011's adjusted results of $2.11 per share because of the tax benefit.

Analysts predict earnings of $2.17 per share for the year.

The Jacksonville, Fla., company's stock fell 30 cents to $48.39 in morning trading.