Packaging Corporation of America today reported fourth quarter 2012 net income of $61 million, or $0.63 per share. The reported results included net income of $3 million, or $0.03 per share, from state income tax adjustments and after tax charges of $1 million, or $0.01 per share, from plant closures. Excluding these items, net income was $59 million, or $0.61 per share, compared to fourth quarter 2011 net income of $39 million, or $0.40 per share. Net sales in the fourth quarter were $737 million, up 13% compared to the fourth quarter of 2011.
The $0.21 per share increase in earnings, excluding special items, was driven by higher containerboard and corrugated products price and mix ($0.12), higher volume ($0.09) and lower costs for recycled fiber ($0.04) and energy ($0.02). These items were partially offset by higher costs for labor and benefits ($0.05).
Full year earnings, excluding special items, were $201 million, or $2.06 per share, compared to 2011 earnings of $162 million, or $1.61 per share. The $0.45 per share increase in earnings was driven by higher volume ($0.33) and price and mix ($0.06), lower costs for energy ($0.17), recycled fiber ($0.12) and chemicals ($0.05) and a lower share count ($0.05). These items were partially offset by higher costs for labor and benefits ($0.14), depreciation ($0.08), interest ($0.06) and transportation ($0.05). Net sales in 2012 were a record $2.844 billion, up 9% over 2011. Full year earnings, including special items, were $164 million, or $1.68 per share, compared to 2011 earnings of $158 million, or $1.57 per share. Special items for both years are shown on the schedule included in this press release.
Corrugated products shipments for the fourth quarter were up 5.8% per workday, and total shipments were up 7.6% with one more workday compared to last year’s fourth quarter. Containerboard production was 652,500 tons, up 12,000 tons over the fourth quarter of 2011. For the full year, PCA mills produced 2.600 million tons of containerboard which is essentially 100% of capacity. PCA ended the year with its containerboard inventories about 6,000 tons above 2011 year-end levels.