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Sealed Air earnings rise despite pressure from strong dollar

Governor Pat McCrory and Jerome Peribere, president and CEO of Sealed Air, smile following the announcement that Sealed Air is relocating its corporate headquarters and creating 1,262 jobs in Charlotte. Sealed Air announced first quarter earnings Thursday that topped Wall Street estimates despite the negative impact of a stronger dollar.
Governor Pat McCrory and Jerome Peribere, president and CEO of Sealed Air, smile following the announcement that Sealed Air is relocating its corporate headquarters and creating 1,262 jobs in Charlotte. Sealed Air announced first quarter earnings Thursday that topped Wall Street estimates despite the negative impact of a stronger dollar. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Sealed Air Corp., a Fortune 500 company that is moving its headquarters to Charlotte, reported first-quarter sales and earnings Thursday that topped Wall Street estimates despite the pressures of a stronger dollar.

For the three months that ended March 31, the Bubble Wrap maker reported income of $114.6 million, or 54 cents a share. That was above the forecast of Bloomberg-surveyed analysts, who estimated 42 cents a share, and about 62.5 percent higher than this time last year.

First-quarter sales were $1.75 billion, above the $1.72 billion estimate of Bloomberg analysts but down about 4.4 percent from the same period in 2014.

On a constant dollar basis, sales rose across all Sealed Air divisions and regions compared with the first quarter of 2014, but the company said currency had a negative impact on net sales of $146 million.

When the dollar strengthens against other currencies, it makes companies’ goods pricier abroad and it makes sales in other currencies worth fewer dollars when they bring their money back to the U.S.

“Our first quarter 2015 performance was a strong start to the year despite currency headwinds,” Jerome Peribere, Sealed Air’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

As a result of the strong currency impact and of the divestiture of the company’s foam tray and pads business in early April, Sealed Air lowered its full-year outlook.

Sales for 2015 will be about $7.1 billion, which assumes a currency drag of about 9 percent. The company had previously said sales would be about $7.4 billion for the year, assuming a 7 percent currency drag.

Sealed Air has undergone several structural changes over the years, including the acquisition of Intellibot Robotics earlier this month and the purchase of Diversey Care, a cleaning products company, in 2011.

The company said last year that moving its headquarters from New Jersey to Charlotte will bring almost 1,300 jobs to the area. State and local incentives total about $43 million for the project.

The company expects its new headquarters in southwest Charlotte will be finished by the end of 2016.

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