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Clearwater Paper Reports Second Quarter 2023 Results

Arsen Kitch
“We had a stronger than expected second quarter, with solid operational performance and lower than expected costs for key inputs such as pulp, energy, and transportation.” – Arsen Kitch, President and CEO, Clearwater Paper.

Aug. 2, 2023 – Clearwater Paper Corporation (NYSE:CLW) reported financial results for the second quarter 2023.

“We had a stronger than expected second quarter, with solid operational performance and lower than expected costs for key inputs such as pulp, energy, and transportation. Tissue demand remained strong, while paperboard was soft as consumer spending slowed and customers continued to manage inventories,” said Arsen Kitch, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We continued to focus on cash flow generation and were able to reduce our net debt by $25 million and repurchase 263 thousand shares of our stock.”

OVERALL RESULTS

For the second quarter of 2023, Clearwater Paper reported net sales of $525 million compared to net sales of $526 million for the second quarter of 2022. Net income for the second quarter of 2023 was $30 million, or $1.75 per diluted share, compared to net income for the second quarter of 2022 of $15 million, or $0.86 per diluted share.

On a non-GAAP basis, Clearwater Paper reported adjusted net income in the second quarter of 2023 of $30 million, or $1.74 per diluted share, compared to second quarter 2022 adjusted net income of $19 million, or $1.11 per diluted share. Adjusted EBITDA for the second quarter of 2023 was $71 million, compared to the second quarter of 2022 Adjusted EBITDA of $63 million.

Pulp and Paperboard Segment

Net sales in the Pulp and Paperboard segment were $272 million for the second quarter of 2023, down 8% compared to second quarter 2022 net sales of $296 million. Segment operating income for the second quarter of 2023 was $42 million, compared to $52 million for the second quarter of 2022. Adjusted EBITDA for the segment was $51 million in the second quarter of 2023, compared to $61 million in the second quarter of 2022. The decrease in operating income and Adjusted EBITDA was primarily driven by planned production downtime to manage inventories, higher maintenance costs and lower sales volumes, partially offset by higher sales prices.

Pulp and Paperboard Sales Volumes and Prices:

Paperboard sales volumes were 186,160 tons in the second quarter of 2023, a decrease of 14% compared to 215,903 tons in the second quarter of 2022. Paperboard sales volumes were 375,558 tons in the first six months of 2023, a decrease of 10% compared to 417,259 tons in the first six months of 2022.

Paperboard average net selling price increased 6% to $1,413 per ton for the second quarter of 2023, compared to $1,332 per ton in the second quarter of 2022. Paperboard average net selling price increased 10% to $1,428 per ton for the first six months of 2023, compared to $1,299 per ton in the first six months of 2022.

Consumer Products Segment

Net sales in the Consumer Products segment were $254 million for the second quarter of 2023, up 9% compared to second quarter 2022 net sales of $232 million. Segment operating income for the second quarter of 2023 was $25 million compared to operating income of $3 million in the second quarter of 2022. Adjusted EBITDA for the segment was $40 million in the second quarter of 2023, compared to $19 million in the second quarter of 2022. The increase in operating income and Adjusted EBITDA was driven by higher sales prices and lower input costs, primarily in freight and energy.

Retail Tissue Sales Volumes and Prices:

Retail tissue volumes sold were 78,672 tons in the second quarter of 2023 compared to 76,604 tons in the second quarter of 2022. Retail tissue volumes sold were 155,520 tons in the first six months of 2023, an increase of 2% compared to 152,030 tons in the first six months of 2022.

Retail tissue average net selling price increased 8% to $3,214 per ton in the second quarter of 2023, compared to $2,984 per ton in the second quarter of 2022. Retail tissue average net selling price increased 10% to $3,207 per ton in the first six months of 2023, compared to $2,928 per ton in the first six months of 2022.

COMPANY OUTLOOK

“We expect continued strength in our tissue business in the coming quarters, with projected strong demand and lower input costs driving improved margins. We also anticipate that our paperboard volumes will improve in the second half of this year as compared to the first half. We will continue our focus on cash flow generation through strong operating performance and managing inventories by matching supply with demand,” continued Kitch.

Clearwater Paper is a premier supplier of private brand tissue to major retailers, including grocery, club, mass merchants, and discount stores. In addition, the company produces bleached paperboard used by quality-conscious printers and packaging converters, and offers services that include custom sheeting, slitting, and cutting.

SOURCE: Clearwater Paper Corporation

SOURCE: https://www.paperage.com/