Clearwater Paper Corp reported net earnings of $3.7 million, or 16 cents per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2012, compared to net earnings of $5.6 million, or $24 cents per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2011.

Excluding $6.7 million in discrete tax items mostly associated with converting gallons from the Cellulosic Biofuel Producer Credits to Alternative Fuel Mixture Tax Credits, the Spokane-based company's first quarter 2012 net earnings were $10.4 million, or 44 cents per diluted share. Excluding a net tax charge of $1.9 million, or 8 cents per diluted share, related to a number of discrete tax items, first quarter 2011 net earnings were $7.5 million, or 32 cents per diluted share.

First quarter 2012 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was $45.2 million, compared to $41.7 million in the first quarter of 2011.

EBITDA in the first quarter of 2012 included $1.1 million of operating income from the company’s Shelby, North Carolina facility and an estimated $5.3 million in net cost savings from synergies associated with the acquisition of Cellu Tissue Holdings Inc.

First quarter 2012 EBITDA was also impacted by $15.5 million of scheduled major maintenance costs, compared to $11.4 million in the first quarter of 2011.