International Paper Third-Quarter Net Income Slips

International Paper on Friday reported a drop in quarterly net profit but an increase in earnings before one-time items, helped by its printing papers business.

Third-quarter net income was $217 million, or 51 cents a share, compared with a year-ago profit of $224 million, or 46 cents a share, said the Memphis, Tennessee-based company.

Excluding items, the company, one of the world's largest paper and packaging makers, earned 57 cents a share, compared with 45 cents a share, a year ago.

"Our earnings were up 10 percent versus the second quarter, 26 percent versus last year, and we did it ... on fair revenue growth," International Paper Chairman and CEO John Faraci said. "Our revenues were up 4 percent, and year-to-date, our EPS is 77 percent ahead of last year."

Earlier this month, International Paper said that weak land sales would push third-quarter earnings below Wall Street expectations.

Last year, the company sold the bulk of its forest lands, for about $6.6 billion. The company is selling most of its remaining acreage in smaller deals, in a bid to maximize the value of the land.

Shares of International Paper , which have risen about 3 percent in the last three months, have lagged the Standard & Poor's Paper and Forest Products Index, which has risen about 5 percent in the same period.

Reuters contributed to this report.