Packaging Corporation of America Reports Second Quarter 2017 Results

Packaging Corporation of America (NYSE: PKG) today reported second quarter 2017 net income of $143 million, or $1.52 per share and $1.52 per share excluding special items. Second quarter net sales were $1.6 billion in 2017 and $1.4 billion in 2016.

Excluding special items, the $.27 per share increase in second quarter 2017 earnings compared to the second quarter of 2016, was driven primarily by higher prices and mix ($.25), sales volumes ($.09), and production volumes ($.03) in our Packaging segment, lower annual maintenance outage costs ($.05), lower taxes ($.06) and a partial insurance recovery related to the DeRidder Mill incident ($.02). These items were partially offset by higher costs for energy ($.06), fiber ($.05), labor ($.03) and chemicals ($.01), higher freight ($.02), interest ($.02), depreciation ($.02) and other expenses ($.01), and lower Paper segment prices and mix ($.01).

Results were $.07 per share above the second quarter guidance primarily due to higher Packaging segment sales prices and volume ($.03), a lower tax rate ($.03), and a partial insurance recovery related to the DeRidder incident ($.02), partly offset by higher recycled fiber prices ($.01).

In the Packaging segment, total corrugated products shipments with one less workday were up 10.0% and shipments per day were up 11.7% over last year’s second quarter. Containerboard production was 947,000 tons, and containerboard inventory was down 25,000 tons compared to the second quarter of 2016 and 14,000 tons below the first quarter of 2017. In the Paper segment, price and mix as well as sales volumes were lower than the second quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017.

Commenting on the quarter, Mark W. Kowlzan, Chairman and CEO, said, “Our results were driven by continued strong demand as well as from the benefits of our recent TimBar and Columbus Container acquisitions. The containerboard and corrugated products price increases were implemented as planned, which helped us offset higher inflation in many of our manufacturing and converting costs and higher freight costs. Our containerboard inventory levels were below those of a year ago and year-end levels despite the additional containerboard inventory requirements of our acquisitions.”

“Looking ahead to the third quarter,” Mr. Kowlzan added, “we expect to realize the vast majority of our previously announced packaging segment price increases, and we expect higher containerboard and corrugated products shipments resulting from strong demand. White paper sales volumes should be seasonally higher, although price and mix should move lower. We also anticipate continued price inflation in recycled fiber and certain chemicals, higher freight costs and a higher tax rate. Considering these items, we expect third quarter earnings of $1.68 per share. This does not include any potential additional costs or anticipated recoveries related to the Deridder Mill insurance claim.”
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