MEMPHIS, TN -- International Paper, a manufacturer and distributor of forest products, reported May 3 preliminary first-quarter 2007 net earnings of $434 million ($0.97 per share) compared with fourth-quarter net earnings of $1.98 billion ($4.38 per share) and a loss of $1.2 billion ($2.54 per share) in the first quarter of 2006. Quarterly net sales were $5.2 billion, compared with $5.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2006, and $5.5 billion in the first quarter of 2006, primarily reflecting lower forestland sales.

“We've hit the ground running in 2007 with our best first quarter since 2000,” said Chairman and CEO John Faraci. “We expect somewhat higher earnings from continuing operations in the second quarter, with seasonally stronger volumes and improvements in average price realizations.”

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