Machine shut-downs lead to 4Q loss at Verso Paper

Verso Paper Corp. lost between $33 million and $38 million in the fourth quarter, the company said today.

In a release ahead of its fourth-quarter conference call, the Tennessee-based company said the fourth-quarter operating loss was due to about $52 million of charges related to paper machine shut-downs and some other factors.

In October, Verso announced plans to eliminate 125 positions at the Bucksport mill in Maine and to permanently shut down one of the mill’s paper machines in response to high production costs and weak demand for lightweight paper. The company also shut two machines at a mill in Minnesota.

Verso employs roughly 775 people at the Bucksport mill as well as nearly 900 at a Jay facility.

For the full year of 2011, Verso said it expects operating income of between $14 million and $19 million, after taking into account the shutdowns and other factors including goodwill impairment and hedging transactions.