Verso Paper predicts Q4 operating loss between US$33M-US$38M influenced by about US$52M in impairment charges relating to paper machine shutdowns, goodwill impairment

MEMPHIS, Tennessee , January 17, 2012 (press release) – Verso Paper Corp. (NYSE: VRS) today announced preliminary results for the fourth quarter and the year ended December 31, 2011. Verso estimates the following results:

  • For the three-month period ended December 31, 2011, we expect Adjusted EBITDA to be within the range of $45 million to $50 million, and for the year ended December 31, 2011, we expect Adjusted EBITDA to be within the range of $200 million to $205 million.
  • Adjusted EBITDA for the three-month period ended December 31, 2011, excludes charges from special items of approximately $45 million primarily related to the shut-down of three paper machines, goodwill impairment, and hedging transactions. Adjusted EBITDA for the year ended December 31, 2011, excludes charges from special items of approximately $80 million primarily related to net losses on debt refinancing, the shut-down of three paper machines, goodwill impairment, and hedging transactions.
  • For the three-month period ended December 31, 2011, we expect operating income before items to be within the range of $14 million to $19 million. Including approximately $52 million of charges primarily related to the paper machine shut-downs, goodwill impairment and hedging transactions we expect operating losses within the range of $38 million to $33 million for the quarter. For the year ended December 31, 2011, we expect operating income before items to be within the range of $74 million to $79 million. Including approximately $60 million of charges primarily related to the paper machine shut-downs, goodwill impairment and hedging transactions we expect operating income within the range of $14 million to $19 million for 2011.
  • Cash and total debt at December 31, 2011 were approximately $95 million and $1.2 billion, respectively. At December 31, 2011, our existing $200 million revolving credit facility had no amounts outstanding, approximately $41 million in letters of credit issued, and approximately $159 million available for future borrowing.
  • Capital expenditures for the three-month period ended December 31, 2011, are expected to be approximately $23 million.
Conference Call

Verso intends to release its financial results for the fourth quarter and the year ended December 31, 2011, in a news release to be issued before the market opens on Wednesday, March 7, 2012. Management will host a conference call at 9 a.m. (Eastern Time) on Wednesday, March 7, 2012, to discuss the fourth quarter and year-end results. Analysts and investors may participate in the live conference call by dialing 719-325-4795 or, within the U.S. and Canada only, 877-591-4959, access code 5749765. To register, please dial in 10 minutes before the conference call begins. The conference call and presentation materials will be made available on Verso’s website at www.versopaper.com/investorrelations by navigating to the Events page, or athttp://investor.versopaper.com/eventdetail.cfm?EventID=108162. The earnings release and Verso’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, will be made available on Verso's website at www.versopaper.com/investorrelations by navigating to the Financial Information page. A telephonic replay of the conference will be accessible at 719-457-0820 or, within the U.S. and Canada only, 888-203-1112, access code 5749765. This replay will be available starting on March 7, 2012, at 12:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) and will remain available for 14 days.

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