MEMPHIS, Tenn., Oct. 9, 2018 – — International Paper (NYSE: IP) today announced its board of directors has authorized a share repurchase program to acquire up to $2.0 billion of the company’s common stock. The new authorization is in addition to $430 million remaining as of the end of the third quarter from a previous repurchase program. During the third quarter the company repurchased approximately $200 million in common stock at an average price of $52.03 per share. The company intends to continue repurchasing such shares in open market transactions. The company’s board of directors also raised the quarterly common stock dividend by $0.025 per share or 5.3%, which brings the per share dividend to $2.00 annually.
“The repurchase authorization and the dividend increase reflect our continued confidence in International Paper’s long-term outlook and strong free cash flow generation,” said Mark Sutton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Today’s announcement is part of our commitment to return cash to shareholders through systematic share repurchases and a sustainable dividend policy.”
The dividend is being increased 5.3% from $0.475 to $0.50 per share for the period from October 1, 2018, to December 31, 2018, inclusive, on the company’s common stock, par value $1.00. This dividend is payable on December 14, 2018, to holders of record at the close of business on November 15, 2018. The company’s board of directors also declared a regular quarterly dividend of $1.00 per share for the period from October 1, 2018, to December 31, 2018, inclusive, on the cumulative $4.00 preferred stock of the company. This dividend is also payable on December 14, 2018, to holders of record at the close of business on November 15, 2018.
Certain statements in this press release may be considered forward-looking statements. These statements reflect management’s current views and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in these statements. Factors which could cause actual results to differ include but are not limited to: (i) the level of our indebtedness and changes in interest rates; (ii) industry conditions, including but not limited to changes in the cost or availability of raw materials, energy and transportation costs, competition we face, cyclicality and changes in consumer preferences, demand and pricing for our products; (iii) global economic conditions and political changes, including but not limited to the impairment of financial institutions, changes in currency exchange rates, credit ratings issued by recognized credit rating organizations, the amount of our future pension funding obligation, changes in tax laws and pension and health care costs; (iv) unanticipated expenditures related to the cost of compliance with existing and new environmental and other governmental regulations and to actual or potential litigation; (v) whether we experience a material disruption at one of our manufacturing facilities; (vi) risks inherent in conducting business through joint ventures; (vii) our ability to achieve the benefits we expect from strategic acquisitions, divestitures and restructurings, and (viii) other factors that can be found in International Paper’s press releases and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) filings. These and other factors that could cause or contribute to actual results differing materially from such forward-looking statements are discussed in greater detail in the Company’s SEC filings. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
About International Paper
International Paper (NYSE: IP) is a leading global producer of renewable fiber-based packaging, pulp and paper products with manufacturing operations in North America, Latin America, Europe, North Africa, Russia and India. We produce corrugated packaging products that protect and promote goods, and enable worldwide commerce; pulp for diapers, tissue and other personal hygiene products that promote health and wellness and papers that facilitate education and communication. We are headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., and employ approximately 52,000 colleagues located in more than 24 countries. Net sales for 2017 were $22 billion. For more information about International Paper, our products and global citizenship efforts, please visit internationalpaper.com.
SOURCE International Paper