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MeadWestvaco 3Q Net Income More Than Doubles

Packaging company said its third-quarter net income more than doubled as it cut costs and boosted productivity to raise profit margins and offset a small revenue decline.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- MeadWestvaco Corp. said Wednesday its third-quarter net income more than doubled as the packaging company cut costs and boosted productivity to raise profit margins and offset a small revenue decline.

Net income rose to $128 million, or 74 cents per share, from $54 million, or 31 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned 50 cents per share, nearly twice the amount analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected.

Sales slipped to $1.63 billion from $1.81 billion, but still exceeded Wall Street's expectation of $1.57 billion.

Profits from continuing operations in MeadWestvaco's packaging business rose 16 percent, while profit in its consumer and office products operation jumped 34 percent. Those profits came despite falling sales in both segments.

The packaging business benefited from reduced capacity, stronger pricing and product mix, lower input costs and higher productivity, while its consumer and office business benefited from a strong back-to-school season in North America, tight cost controls and higher productivity.

Shares rose 33 cents to $23.10 in premarket trading.

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