June 29 Shares of International Paper may
increase about 40 percent in the next 12 months on an improving
global economy and use of its cash for stock buyback and higher
dividend, Barron's said in its latest edition published on
The biggest North American producer of corrugated shipping
boxes, based in Memphis, Tennessee, had seen its stock hurt from
weak box demand earlier this year. It also took a $495 million
charge in the first quarter for the closure of its Courtland,
IP Chief Executive Officer John Faraci has said the
company's business is regaining its stride.
Sales of its industrial-packaging business rose 3 percent
year-over-year in April, the strongest such gain in over three
years, Barron's said.
"The combination of improving fundamentals and the return of
cash to shareholders should translate into a higher stock
valuation and outstanding total return for shareholders," the
financial weekly said.
Faraci told Barron's there is potential to increase IP's
per-share dividend to between $1.80 to $2.00 from the current
Barron's cited some Wall Street analysts who projected IP
shares rising in the next 12 months to $66 to $70 a share, as
much as 43 percent above current levels.
On Friday, IP stock closed at $49.05, which was at the high
end of its 52-week range.
(Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Paul Simao)