Vowing to cut another 450 employees by the end of the year, Smurfit-Stone Container (NASDAQ:SSCC) reported Monday stronger-than-expected third-quarter earnings on tighter expenses, just three months after emerging from bankruptcy.
The maker of paperboard and paper-based packaging used to transport various products, including home appliances, small machinery and groceries posted net income of $65 million, or 65 cents a share, compared with $65 million, or 25 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.
Sequentially, Smurfit saw a steep decline from $1.41 billion, or $5.41 a share, in the second-quarter.
Excluding special items, Smurfit earned 76 cents a share, beating the Street’s view of 61 cents.
Revenue for the Chicago-based company was $1.63 billion, up 15.3% from $1.42 billion a year ago, though just missing average analyst estimates polled by Thomson Reuters of $1.66 billion.
Earnings gained on higher average selling prices and ongoing efforts to reduce operating costs, including slashing its workforce by 460 positions.
The company, which emerged from bankruptcy in June, expects moderately lower sequential earnings in the fourth-quarter, as growing mill maintenance costs, higher energy uses, and normal seasonable demand declines offset price improvements.
However, Smurfit said it is continuing its focus on cutting costs, planning to slash another 450 positions, or more than 14% of its workforce, by the end of the year.