UPDATE 1-Wausau Paper posts better-than-expected Q4 profit

Mon Feb 8, 2010 5:36pm EST

* Q4 adj EPS $0.14 vs est of $0.12

* Revenue down 7 percent

Feb 8 (Reuters) - Wausau Paper Corp (WPP.N) reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped partly by cost reduction measures, but forecast lower first-quarter earnings.

The company is facing a much more difficult input cost environment this year, Chief Executive Thomas Howatt said in a statement.

The company expects first-quarter profit to be "modestly below" the 7 cents a share it earned last year.

Analysts on average were looking for earnings of 9 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

For the fourth quarter, the paper maker's net income was $9.2 million, or 19 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $1.8 million, or 4 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, it earned 14 cents a share.

Net sales fell 7 percent to $257.8 million.

Analysts were expecting the company to earn 12 cents a share, before items, on revenue of $246.1 million.

In 2009, the company unveiled a slew of cost-cutting measures, including the permanent closure of its remaining paper machine in Maine, a 7 percent reduction in its salaried workforce and the suspension of its dividend payout. [ID:nBNG364809]

Shares of Mosinee, Wisconsin-based Wausau closed at $9.10 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.

For the alerts, double click [ID:nWNAB4577] (Reporting by Arundhati Ramanathan in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal)