The company reported net sales of $428.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2018, which was $8.0 million or 1.8% lower than net sales of $436.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2017. The decrease was primarily due to the sale of the company's mill in Ladysmith, Wisconsin in August 2018 and lower tissue shipments, partially offset by higher paperboard shipments and pricing. Net loss determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, for the fourth quarter of 2018 was $187.8 million, or $11.39 loss per diluted share, compared to net earnings for the fourth quarter of 2017 of $80.9 million, or $4.88 per diluted share, which included a $70 million tax benefit related to the 2017 tax law changes. The net loss included a $195.1 million non-cash goodwill impairment charge related to the consumer products business taken in the fourth quarter of 2018. The impairment charge relates to the goodwill arising out of the company's acquisition of Cellu Tissue Holdings, Inc. in 2010 and will not result in any cash expenditures or affect the company's cash position, cash flow from operating activities, liquidity position or availability under its credit facilities. Click Read More below for additional detail.
During last year, we reviewed Stora Enso’s strategic agenda and identified our focus areas going forward. We want to focus on and take leading market positions in the segments where we see potential for future growth, namely packaging, wooden construction and biomaterials innovation from lignin.
As a consequence of our strategic direction, we are in the process of exiting the segment of dissolving pulp for viscose production globally. This segment is not core for us and stands for only a small part of our overall business. Dissolving pulp is produced at Stora Enso’s Enocell mill, which currently produces both standard and dissolving pulp grades. Production at the Enocell mill will continue with other types of pulp grades than dissolving pulp and for other end uses than viscose.
As we always do, when taking business decisions, we have looked at the matter holistically considering strategy, sustainability and financials. Our strategic direction remains in line with what we communicated on the Capital Markets Day in November 2020 and exiting our dissolving pulp business for viscose production will not have material impact on our financial results. We are currently in a silent period and will come back to the topic in connection to our Q1 report on April 23.