Our preliminary Q3 2019 financial report is here. Highlights from this Domtar financial report include:
- Third-quarter 2019 net earnings of $0.32 per share
- Announced reduction of 204,000 tons of uncoated freesheet capacity in Paper
- $137 million of share repurchases
In its Q3 2019 financial report, Domtar reported net earnings of $20 million ($0.32 per share) for the third quarter of 2019 compared to net earnings of $18 million ($0.28 per share) for the second quarter of 2019 and net earnings of $99 million ($1.57 per share) for the third quarter of 2018. Sales for the third quarter of 2019 were $1.3 billion.
“Our results in Paper improved with lower maintenance and raw material costs offsetting market-related downtime costs. Our paper machines ran well and cost performance was strong, resulting in a 300 basis point margin expansion for this business,” said John D. Williams, president and chief executive officer. “In Pulp, downward price adjustments continued in most regions, but we are seeing increasing signs of improvement in supply and demand fundamentals.”
Williams added, “In Personal Care, EBITDA and margin performance were one of the best in several quarters as we continue to make excellent progress in executing our business plan, with a strong focus on commercial initiatives, cost performance and delivering on our margin improvement plan.”
Operating income was $29 million in the third quarter of 2019 compared to operating income of $34 million in the second quarter of 2019. Depreciation and amortization totaled $72 million in the third quarter of 2019.
The decrease in operating income in the third quarter of 2019 was the result of lower selling prices in pulp, market-related downtime costs and the Espanola outage. These factors were partially offset by lower maintenance and raw material costs; lower selling, general and administrative expenses; and lower freight, fixed and other costs.
When compared to the second quarter of 2019, manufactured paper shipments were down 1 percent and pulp shipments increased 12 percent. The shipment-to-production ratio for paper was 103 percent in the third quarter of 2019, compared to 98 percent in the second quarter of 2019. Paper inventories decreased by 19,000 tons, and pulp inventories decreased by 9,000 metric tons when compared to the second quarter of 2019.
For the fourth quarter, maintenance is expected to be higher while Paper is expected to be negatively impacted in part by a seasonally unfavorable mix. We anticipate some volatility in softwood and fluff pulp markets while Personal Care is expected to benefit from our margin improvement plan and increased sales driven by a stronger order book.