Smurfit-Stone Reports Net Loss

Chicago -- Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. has reported first quarter 2003 financial results. The company reported a net loss of $33 million, or 13 cents per diluted share. These results include a restructuring charge of 1 cent per diluted share related to plant closures and a charge of 2 cents per diluted share for an accounting change. The company earned $6 million for the first quarter of 2002, or 2 cents per diluted share. Sales for the first quarter of 2003 were $1.9 billion, compared to $1.8 billion in the first quarter of 2002. Patrick J. Moore, president and chief executive officer, said, "As we announced earlier this month, the primary factors affecting the results for the first quarter were higher than expected energy costs, demand weakness and some packaging price erosion."