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Stora Drops After Net Misses Estimates; Predicts Little Growth

Stora Enso Oyj fell the most in 18 months in Helsinki trading after Europe’s biggest papermaker said third-quarter operating profit won’t grow from the period just ended and reported profit short of analysts’ estimates.

Operating profit excluding non-recurring items in the third quarter will be about the “same range” as the 228 million euros ($326 million) reported in the second quarter, Stora said in a statement today. Second-quarter net income fell 15 percent to 136 million euros, missing an analyst estimate of 145 million euros in a Bloomberg survey.

Stora, based in Helsinki, and other paper and pulp makers are suffering from an oversupply of paper in Europe that’s been putting pressure on prices. Third-quarter demand is forecast to be stable for consumer board, industrial packaging, newsprint and coated magazine paper, Stora said in a statement, and weaker for uncoated magazine paper and fine paper.

“Some of our geographical markets, specifically coated fine paper in Europe, have in recent weeks shown signs of slowing down compared with the recovery in 2010,” Chief Executive Officer Jouko Karvinen said in a separate statement.

Stora shares fell as much as 7.1 percent to 6 euros, the most since March of 2009 and was trading down 6.3 percent as of 3 p.m. local time. The stock has lost 22 percent this year, giving the company a market value of 4.9 billion euros.

Shares of other European papermakers also declined. UPM-Kymmene Oyj, Europe’s No. 2, fell as much as 6 percent, while Norske Skogindustrier ASA in Norway fell as much as 4 percent.

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