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Packaging Corp. Falls After Profit Estimate: Chicago Mover

Packaging Corp. of America, the fourth-largest U.S. maker of corrugated shipping boxes, fell after forecasting first-quarter profit will be less than analysts expect.

Packaging Corp. fell 3 percent to $38.81 at the close in New York. Earlier the shares dropped 5.4 percent, the biggest intraday decline since Sept. 22, 2011.

First-quarter profit will be about 56 cents a share, the Lake Forest, Illinois-based company said in a statement today. That compares with the 63-cent average estimate of eight analysts compiled by Bloomberg.

“We expect lower containerboard production and higher operating costs compared to the fourth quarter with two less mill production days and annual maintenance downtime,” Chief Executive Officer Mark Kowlzan said in the statement.

The company today said fourth-quarter net income rose to $61 million, or 63 cents a share, from $39.5 million, or 40 cents, driven by higher prices for container board and corrugated packaging. Profit excluding a gain of $3 million from state income tax adjustments and other one-time items missed by a penny the 62-cent average of 12 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Packaging Corp. is the fourth-largest U.S. producer of corrugated shipping boxes after International Paper Co., Rock-Tenn Co. and closely held Georgia-Pacific LLC, according to an investor presentation on Rock-Tenn’s website. Container board is the specialized paper used to make corrugated shipping boxes.

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