August 27, 2008 / 9:57 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 1-Greif Q3 results beat market view, ups '08 outlook

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Aug 28 (Reuters) - Greif Inc (GEF.N), a maker of industrial packaging products, posted quarterly results above Wall Street estimates, helped by strong sales growth across sectors and higher selling prices, and raised its fiscal 2008 forecast.

In a statement, Greif said the increase in forecast was mainly driven by improved profitability for industrial packaging products than previously anticipated and partial realization of a $55 per ton containerboard price increase in the fourth quarter.

The company said it now expects fiscal 2008 earnings of $4.45 to $4.55 per class A share, including a net gain of 35 cents per class A share from sale of businesses.

Analysts on average were expecting fiscal 2008 earnings of $4.08 a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

For the latest third quarter ended July 31, Grief reported net income of $64.6 million, or $1.10 per class A share. The company had earned $48.8 million, or 82 cents per class A share, a year ago.

Excluding special items, it earned $69.5 million, or $1.18 per class A share, compared with $53.2 million, or 90 cents per class A share, in the year-ago period.

Sales rose 18 percent to $1.03 billion.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of $1.11 a share, excluding items, on revenue of $969.3 million, according to Reuters Estimates.

Shares of the Delaware, Ohio-based company rose as much as 7 percent to $68.02 in after-hours trading. They closed at $63.75 in regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Biswarup Gooptu in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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