Creve Coeur, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois, USA, 08 October 2008 -- /PRNewswire/ -- Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation (NASDAQ:SSCC) today reaffirmed its financial flexibility amid uncertain economic conditions and announced the favorable resolution of certain Canadian income tax matters.
Commenting on the company's financial position, Patrick J. Moore, chairman and CEO, said: "Maintaining financial flexibility is a top priority at Smurfit-Stone. Following unprecedented cost inflation earlier this year, we successfully raised our selling prices in the third quarter. Furthermore, mill production, box shipments, and liquidity improved from the second quarter. We are in compliance with all financial covenants in our credit facilities and presently expect to remain in compliance into the fourth quarter of 2009."
Regarding the company's business outlook, Moore said: "We expect higher average selling prices and lower costs will drive sequentially improved financial performance in the fourth quarter. Smurfit-Stone remains focused on all necessary actions to ensure sufficient financial flexibility during these challenging economic conditions."
Resolution of Tax Matters
As previously disclosed, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is examining the company's tax returns for the tax years 1999 through 2005. In connection with the examination, the CRA was considering certain significant adjustments to taxable income related to the company's acquisition of a Canadian company. The company was informed by the CRA that this matter has been resolved in Smurfit-Stone's favor. As a result of this favorable ruling, the company will reduce its liability for unrecognized tax benefits and record an income tax benefit of approximately USD 84 million in the quarter ended 30 September 2008, which will positively affect earnings by approximately USD 0.33 per share.
Company to Release Third Quarter 2008 Results
Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation will release its third quarter 2008 results on 22 October, after market close. Management will discuss the company's financial performance at 9 a.m. Eastern Time on 23 October, via a live webcast and teleconference. Participants may join the presentation by linking to the webcast through the investor page of the company's Web site at http://www.smurfit-stone.com/ or by calling (866) 393-7299 (request the Smurfit-Stone earnings call) no later than 8:50 a.m. Eastern Time. The presentation will be archived on the company's Web site.
Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation (NASDAQ:SSCC) is one of the industry's leading integrated containerboard and corrugated packaging producers and is one of the world's largest paper recyclers. The company is a member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative(R), and the Chicago Climate Exchange. Smurfit-Stone generated revenue of USD 7.4 billion in 2007, has led the industry in safety every year since 2001, and conducts its business in compliance with the environmental, health, and safety principles of the American Forest & Paper Association.