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Nonwovens shipment volume up 7% at Buckeye
Aug '10
Buckeye Technologies Inc. announced fourth quarter net income of $9.7 million or $0.24 per share. This compared to net income of $46.5 million or $1.20 per share in the prior year comparable period, which included net income of $39.6 million, or $1.02 per share, from alternative fuel mixture credits (“AFMC”).

Adjusted net income for the quarter (excluding certain items described below) was $10.6 million, or $0.26 per share versus fourth quarter fiscal 2009 adjusted net income $6.8 million, or $0.18 per share. Net sales were $205 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010, up 16% versus net sales of $177 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009.

Operating income for our specialty fibers segment was up $7.9 million in the fourth quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago, largely due to the return to profitability of our Memphis cotton specialty fibers plant. Our wood specialty fibers business benefited from higher fluff pulp prices, a favorable sales mix and lower input costs, but these improvements were offset by the impact of the June power outage ($4.2 million pre-tax or $0.07 per share) and other scheduled maintenance outages that took place during the quarter.

Operating income for the nonwovens segment was down $0.6 million despite a 3% increase in shipment volume due to rising fluff pulp costs and unfavorable currency movements. Interest expense was down almost 50% year over year, but this benefit was offset by a return to a more normal effective tax rate in Q4 of this year compared to an unusually low tax rate in Q4 of last year.

Comparing the fourth quarter to the third quarter, adjusted EPS was down $0.02, which was again impacted by the power outage. Shipment volume overall was flat, with nonwovens shipment volume up 7% and specialty fibers volume off 1%. Higher overall selling prices outweighed input cost increases driven by higher prices for cotton linters and purchased fluff pulp. Foley production volume was off approximately 8,000 tons versus the third quarter, 5,000 tons of which was due to the June power outage.

For fiscal year 2010, net sales were $756 million, up slightly from $755 million in fiscal 2009. Net income for the 2010 fiscal year was a record $115 million or $2.90 per share, which included income from AFMC of $1.94 per share. Excluding AFMC, goodwill impairment charges, and other special items, adjusted net income* for the entire fiscal year was $34.9 million, or $0.88 per share, compared to $22.6 million, or $0.58 per share in fiscal 2009.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John B. Crowe said, “Buckeye's fourth quarter results were good, showing improvement compared to the same quarter a year ago. While earnings were down from the third quarter, I was pleased with the overall performance given the negative impact of the June 17th power failure and resulting voltage surge at our Florida facility.

It is times like this when you see the strength and can-do attitude of your organization, which succeeded in holding the outage to a total of five days. Strong customer demand and increased selling prices were not enough to offset the $4.2 million in lost absorption and expenses associated with the outage and recovery during the quarter.”

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