International Paper Q3 profit down by nearly half

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- International Paper Co. said Thursday its third-quarter net income dropped by nearly half as it rang up charges for restructuring and for absorbing smaller rival Temple-Inland.

The paper maker reported its net income fell to $237 million, or 54 cents per share, in the July-September quarter, down 49 percent from $468 million, or $1.08 per share, in the third quarter of 2011.

Restructuring and other charges totaled $59 million in the third quarter, nearly doubled from $32 million a year earlier.

Excluding special items and charges, International Paper said it earned $330 million, or 75 cents per share, in the latest quarter. That compares with $352 million, or 81 cents per share, in last year's third quarter.

On that basis, analysts were expecting 77 cents a share for the latest quarter, according to FactSet.

Third-quarter sales rose 6 percent, to $7.03 billion from $6.6 billion a year earlier. Analysts were looking for $7.07 billion.

The company, based in Memphis, Tenn., has manufacturing operations in North America, Europe, Latin America, Russia, Asia and North Africa. It completed its $3.51 billion acquisition of Temple-Inland in February.

International Paper announced Wednesday that it is forming a new joint venture with a unit of Brazil's Grupo Orsa to support its global packaging business. The U.S. company said it will invest about $470 million for a 75 percent stake in the joint venture with the Brazilian corrugated packaging producer.

Shares of International Paper fell $1.12 to close at $35.26.