UPDATE 2-Bemis Q4 profit beats Street view, revenue up

* Q4 adj EPS 45 cts; Street view 34 cts

* Revenue rises 4.4 percent

* Says Q1 profit will be similar to 2009 Q1

* Shares slip 1 percent in morning trading
(Recasts; adds earnings details, conference call, CEO and
analyst comment, stock move, byline)

By Ernest Scheyder

NEW YORK, Jan 28 (BestGrowthStock) – Packaging maker Bemis Co
(BMS.N: ) posted a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit (Read more your timing to make a profit.) on
Thursday, due in part to favorable currency exchange rates and
slowly improving demand.

The company makes flexible packaging, which is used to wrap
foods like cheese and meats as well as other products such as
diapers and pharmaceuticals. Bemis also makes labels and tapes
for many consumer products.

Demand for many of the company’s products ebbed during the
recession as consumers cut back on spending, but modest demand
growth is beginning to return, Bemis executives said.

“Our emphasis on aggressive cost management, production
efficiency and working capital management achieved sustainable
improvements throughout the business in 2009,” Chief Executive
Henry Theisen said in a statement.

For the quarter, the company posted net income of $28.99
million, or 26 cents per share, compared with $33.21 million,
or 32 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Excluding one-time items, such as costs related to a
pending acquisition, the company posted earnings of 45 cents
per share. By that measure, analysts had expected 34 cents,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 4.4 percent to $905.9 million, besting the
$902.9 million analysts had expected. About 6.8 percent of the
sales increase came from currency conversion benefits.

For the first quarter, the company said it expects earnings
similar to those of a year earlier. Bemis earned $33 million,
or 33 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2009.

Lower raw material costs could be a boon for the company,
according to one analyst.

“We believe that the recent collapse in raw material costs
(combined with previous productivity improvements) could
finally unleash a significant improvement in earnings,” Robert
W. Baird analyst Ghansham Panjabi said in a note to clients.

Panjabi says earnings could move “well north” of $2 per
share. The company earned $1.40 per share in 2009.

Shares of the Neenah, Wisconsin-based company fell 29 cents
to $28.45 in morning trading. The stock has traded between
$16.85 and $31.41 in the past 52 weeks.

Investing Research
(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder, editing by Gerald E. McCormick
and John Wallace)

UPDATE 2-Bemis Q4 profit beats Street view, revenue up