* Stora issues positive profit warning for Q3
* Gives bright outlook for Q4
* Shares jump 8.6 pct (Adds analyst comment, share reaction, background)
HELSINKI, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Finnish pulp and paper maker Stora Enso said on Monday it would report a better than expected profit for the third quarter and also predicted strong results for the final three months of the year thanks to favourable exchange rates and higher production volumes at its pulp mills.
The world’s second biggest producer of papers for magazines and newsprint, has recently shifted its focus to other products like pulp as the demand for print paper in Europe continues to decline due to online media.
Wood pulp is needed to make not only paper but also tissue products and packaging board, with demand for those products booming in China. Unlike print paper, pulp is also easier to ship globally.
Stora Enso has a joint venture pulp mill in Brazil with Fibria and another one in Uruguay with Chile’s Arauco , alongside its three pulp mills in the Nordic region.
Stora said its total sales in the quarter just ended would be about 2.5 billion euros with a core operating profit of 246 million euros ($280 million), helped by the depreciation of the Brazilian real and a better operational performance at all the pulp mills.
In July, it had estimated that its profit would be in line with the previous quarter’s 207 million euros.
It also said its fourth-quarter group sales and profit would be flat compared to the third quarter.
Shares in the company were up 8 percent at 8.38 euros by 0724 GMT.
“The market was expecting a somewhat larger number for the third quarter as that is typically their strong quarter. But this estimate for the fourth quarter is clearly above expectations,” said analyst Markku Jarvinen from Evli brokerage, who had a ‘buy’ rating on the stock.
Analysts had expected a profit of 220 million euros for the third quarter and 205 million euros for the fourth, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine.
The company is due to announce its full third-quarter results on Oct. 23. ($1 = 0.8798 euros) (Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl; Editing by Greg Mahlich)