The company, which operates around the world and became the largest North American producer of corrugated packaging in the buyout, said pockets of weakness remain -- especially in Europe -- but signs of recovery are emerging.
“I feel very good about the rest of the year,” Chief Executive John Faraci said in an interview on Friday. “It’s not a macro-bullish story. It’s a macro-positive story.”
North America is “sluggishly slow, but positive;” Europe likely will be in a “shallow” recession for the rest of the year; and China and India’s economies are “slowing down a bit, but still have strong GDP growth,” Faraci said.
For the first quarter, International Paper posted net income of $188 million, or 43 cents per share, compared with $281 million, or 65 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.
Excluding restructuring charges and other one-time items, the company posted profit of 57 cents per share.
Revenue rose 4.6 percent to $6.66 billion. Analysts had expected $6.79 billion in revenue.
Sales of corrugated packaging boxes, which are primarily used for shipping by Amazon.com Inc and other customers, rose 22 percent to $3.12 billion.
Amazon’s quarterly profit, announced late Thursday, widely beat Wall Street’s expectations, a positive sign for IP.
Sales of IP’s printing papers rose 2 percent to $1.56 billion.
The company did see weakness in its distribution unit due to a drop in volume shipped. Sales in that unit fell 12 percent to $1.48 billion.
Shares of IP were down 0.3 percent to $33.66 in Friday morning trading. The stock has traded between $21.55 and $36.50 in the past 52 weeks.
IP’s $3.7 billion buyout of Temple in February -- seven months after the company’s initial $3.3 billion offer was rejected -- came after a lengthy review by the U.S. Department of Justice.
When the deal closed, IP said it expected to save about $300 million over two years.
After six weeks, IP said it has identified $100 million in cost savings in its box plant operations.
About $20 million of that is for freight costs, IP said.