First Quarter Highlights *First quarter 2021 GAAP earnings per diluted share were $0.71, compared with $0.80 in 2020. *First quarter 2021 GAAP earnings included net after-tax charges of $19.4 million related to restructuring activity, asset impairments, acquisition and divestiture transaction costs, loss on a business divestiture and non-operating pension costs which were partially offset by insurance proceeds. In the first quarter of 2020, GAAP earnings included net after-tax charges of $14.8 million related mostly to restructuring actions and non-operating pension costs. *Base net income attributable to Sonoco (base earnings) for first quarter 2021 was $0.90 per diluted share, compared with $0.94 in 2020. (See base earnings definition, explanation and reconciliation to GAAP earnings later in this release.) Sonoco previously provided first quarter 2021 base earnings guidance of $0.80 to $0.90 per diluted share. *First quarter 2021 net sales were $1.35 billion, compared with $1.30 billion in 2020. *Cash flow from operations was $138.7 million in the first three months of 2021, compared to $87.7 million in 2020. Free cash flow was $99.4 million in the first three months of 2021, compared with $57.1 million in the first three months of 2020. *On April 4, 2021, Sonoco completed the sale of its U.S. Display and Packaging business to Hood Container Corporation for approximately $80 million in cash, the proceeds of which were received subsequent to the period's end.
Tredegar Surface Protection (a subsidiary of Tredegar Corporation NYSE:TG), announced today that it will implement a resin index based pricing plan that will apply to all products and customers, in response to unprecedented price increases and supply issues for polyethylene and polypropylene resin. This bilateral pricing model, which allows for decreases if resin prices fall in the future, will be effective on all shipments beginning July 1, 2021.
Citing growing cost pressures, Dr. Bapi DasGupta, president of Tredegar Surface Protection, said, “While we are seeing cost inflation in many areas, the increase in the cost of our primary raw material is the most challenging, given that resin prices have doubled over the past year. In addition, resin supply continues to be tight as a result of recent force majeure events and issues associated with COVID-19 conditions, including supply chain delays. We continue to focus on cost-control measures across our business and remain fully committed to delivering industry-leading product quality and supply reliability to our customers.”