Exhibit 99.1

 

 

For Immediate Release

 

 

Contact:

 

Tim McKenna (investors) 312-580-4637

 

 

John Haudrich (investors) 314-746-1266

 

 

Meg Gallagher (media) 312-580-2289

 

 

Mylène Labrie (Canada) 514-864-5103

 

SMURFIT-STONE REPORTS 4th QUARTER 2004 RESULTS

 

CHICAGO, January 25, 2005 –

Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation (Nasdaq: SSCC) today reported a net loss available to common stockholders of $9 million, or $0.04 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2004.  These results include:

                  An impairment charge of $73 million, or $0.19 per diluted share, attributable to the write down of pulp mill fixed assets,

                  A tax benefit of $10 million, or $0.04 per diluted share, related to the resolution of certain prior year tax matters,

                  A charge of $13 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, from the impact of a non-cash foreign currency translation loss, and

                  A charge of $12 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, from the early extinguishment of debt.

 

Fourth quarter 2004 results compare to a net loss available to common stockholders of $92 million, or $0.37 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2003. That quarter included a restructuring charge of $0.27 per diluted share and a $0.03 per diluted share non-cash foreign currency translation loss.

 

For the full year 2004, the company reported a net loss available to common stockholders of $57 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, compared to a net loss available to common stockholders of $208 million, or $0.85 per diluted share, in 2003.

 

Fourth quarter sales were $2,146 million, up 12.2 percent from the fourth quarter of 2003.  Sales for the full year were $8.3 billion, compared to $7.7 billion in 2003.

 

Commenting on the results, Patrick J. Moore, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said that the primary factors impacting operating results were pricing and volume improvement along with inflationary cost pressures.  “Business fundamentals remained strong in the quarter.  While inventories increased slightly, packaging demand continued to grow and prices from previously announced increases were higher.”

 

In what is a seasonally softer period, the company’s fourth quarter containerboard operating rate was 94.2 percent, down slightly from the third quarter, but up from 88.5 percent in the year ago period.  Fourth quarter domestic linerboard pricing advanced 1.8 percent sequentially and was up 21 percent compared to the prior year quarter.

 

Fourth quarter 2004 average corrugated container prices increased 2.5 percent sequentially and 8 percent compared to the prior year quarter.   Smurfit-Stone’s per day fourth quarter North

 


The following information was filed by Smurfit Stone Container Corp on Tuesday, January 25, 2005 as an 8K 2.02 statement, which is an earnings press release pertaining to results of operations and financial condition. It may be helpful to assess the quality of management by comparing the information in the press release to the information in the accompanying 10-K Annual Report statement of earnings and operation as management may choose to highlight particular information in the press release.

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