Packaging company MeadWestvaco Corp. said Wednesday that its first-quarter profit fell nearly 25 percent, as lower earnings from its land management business and a mill outage offset higher sales in its chemical and consumer packaging businesses.
The company, based in Richmond, Va., reported earnings of $49 million, or 28 cents per share, compared with $65 million, or 38 cents per share, a year ago.
Adjusted for charges related to a coming spin-off of its consumer and office products business, and restructuring charges, MeadWestvaco earned $60 million, or 34 cents per share.
Sales increased 4 percent to $1.42 billion.
Analysts expected earnings of 26 cents per share on revenue of $1.39 billion, according to FactSet.
MeadWestvaco said earnings in its home health and beauty packaging segment rose 50 percent, and profit from specialty chemicals for asphalt, adhesives, inks and oilfield drilling grew 18 percent. Profit in its food and beverage packaging segment fell 23 percent on higher raw material costs and transportation, as well as a planned mill maintenance outage.
The company also said Wednesday that the merger of its consumer and office products business with ACCO Brands Corp. is expected to close Tuesday.
MeadWestvaco makes Mead, Five Star and At-A-Glance branded office and school supplies. ACCO, based in Lincolnshire, Ill., makes Swingline staplers and Day-Timer planners. The deal was announced in November. Once it closes, MeadWestvaco stockholders will own 50.5 percent of the combined company.
MeadWestvaco operates in 30 countries and has customers in more than 100 nations. In the last several years, it has gone from a mill-centric paper supplier to a global partner for brands like Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Walmart.
Its shares rose 53 cents to $32.09 in afternoon trading. They have ranged from $22.75 to $34.51 over the past 52 weeks.
Michael Felberbaum can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/MLFelberbaum.