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Sonoco 1Q net income falls short of expectations

HARTSVILLE, S.C. (AP) -- Packaging provider Sonoco Products Co. said Thursday that first-quarter profit rose 12 percent but fell short of Wall Street expectations on weakness in food packaging and higher costs.

The company gave a forecast for 2013 earnings that barely covered analysts' estimates.

The shares fell 51 cents to $34.09 in afternoon trading. They started the day up 16 percent in 2013.

Net income was $48.1 million, or 47 cents per share, compared with $43.1 million, or 42 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company said it would have earned 50 cents per share excluding restructuring costs and other items, but analysts surveyed by FactSet were looking for 53 cents per share.

Revenue dipped to $1.18 billion from $1.21 billion a year ago and fell short of analysts' forecast of $1.2 billion.

Sonoco forecast adjusted profits of 56 to 60 cents per share in the second quarter and $2.26 to $2.32 per share for the full year.

Analysts were expecting 59 cents per share in the second quarter and $2.31 per share for 2013.

The company said its projections assumed modest volume growth and slightly stronger pricing, offset by higher pension costs and other items.