International Paper Reports Increases in Q3 vs. Q2 Results

MEMPHIS, TN—Oct. 28, 2009—International Paper (NYSE: IP) today reported preliminary 2009 third-quarter net earnings attributable to common shareholders of $371 million ($0.87 per share) compared with $136 million ($0.32 per share) in the second quarter of 2009 and $149 million ($0.35 per share) in the third quarter of 2008. Amounts in all periods include special items.

Earnings from continuing operations and before special items in the 2009 third quarter totaled $157 million ($0.37 per share), compared with $86 million ($0.20 per share) in the second quarter of 2009 and $356 million ($0.84 per share) in the third quarter of 2008.

Quarterly net sales were $5.9 billion in the third quarter compared with $5.8 billion in the second quarter of 2009 and $6.8 billion reported in the third quarter of 2008. Operating profits in the 2009 third quarter were $940 million, up from $788 million in the second quarter of 2009 and $536 million in the third quarter of 2008.

At the end of the 2009 third quarter, International Paper had $4.2 billion in cash and committed liquidity facilities. The company generated $1.3 billion of free cash flow (cash provided by operations less capital expenditures) during the quarter, reflecting its continued focus on reducing costs, managing capacity and working capital, and continued reduced capital spending, as well as cash received from alternative fuel mixture credits. The company also repaid $1.3 billion of debt during the quarter.

“At the end of the third quarter, we began to see some modest improvements in demand in some segments of our paper and packaging businesses,” said Chairman and CEO John Faraci. “We expanded margins year-over-year and continued to deliver strong cash flow and pay down debt, and I’m confident we’re in position to benefit as the economy continues to slowly recover.”

Segment Information
To measure the performance of the company’s business segments from quarter to quarter without variations caused by special or unusual items, management focuses on business segment operating profits excluding those items. Third-quarter 2009 segment operating profits and business trends, excluding special items, compared with the prior quarter are as follows:

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