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Shares pop as Bubble Wrap maker posts slimmer loss

The Associated Press

ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. (AP) -- Shares for the owner of Bubble Wrap are popping Tuesday. Sealed Air Corp. reported a narrower loss in the fourth quarter and predicted better results for this year.

The packaging maker is dealing with slower sales in Europe and rising costs for raw materials. Jerome Peribere, the president and chief operating officer, signaled that Sealed Air would raise prices for customers and cut its own costs, and he predicted that revenue and profit would increase this year.

Elmwood Park, N.J.-based Sealed Air lost $10.9 million from continuing operations, or 6 cents, per share, for the quarter. The year before it lost $59.8 million, or 31 cents per share. The company excluded results from its Diversey Japan business, which it sold in November.

Stripping out one-time charges, earnings were 34 cents per share, up from 6 cents per share a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet expected 29 cents per share.

Shares rose $2.03, or 10.5 percent, to $21.43 in morning trading.

Revenue was $1.98 billion, up about 1 percent from a year ago and beating the $1.94 billion expected by analysts. Sales rose for packaging for food and health care products, and rose in developing countries in Latin America and the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

But Sealed Air decided that growth at parts of Diversey, a sanitation company that it bought in 2011, wouldn't be as strong as it first expected, and the company wrote down the value of its purchase. Integrating Diversey has also been expensive, mostly in costs related to job cuts and severance payments.

For 2013, the company predicted adjusted earnings of between $1.10 and $1.20 per share on revenue of $7.7 to $7.9 billion.

Analysts expected revenue of $7.74 billion.