UPDATE 1-Neenah Paper Q1 profit races ahead of estimates

Mon May 10, 2010 5:50pm EDT

* Q1 EPS from cont ops $0.48 vs est $0.31

* Net sales up 25 pct $167 mln vs est $158.1 mln

* Higher volumes help result

May 10 (Reuters) - Neenah Paper Inc's (NP.N) quarterly profit handily beat market estimates as sales at the specialty paper products maker's technical products segment rose 41 percent on higher volumes.

For the first quarter, net income from continuing operations was $7.3 million, or 48 cents a share, compared with a loss of $0.7 million, or 5 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.

From discontinued operations, the company earned $8.81 a share.

The company, which also has manufacturing operations in Germany, said net sales were up 25 percent at $167.3 million.

Analysts on an average had expected the company to earn 31 cents, on revenue of $158.1 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net sales at its technical products segment was $97.7 million as volumes rose 38 percent. The company said sales at its fine paper segment increased 7 percent.

Shares of the Alpharetta, Georgia-based company closed at $16.28 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Krishna N. Das in Bangalore; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy)