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Sonoco ThermoSafe, a unit of Sonoco Products Co. (SON - Analyst Report), has launched the new Certis Silver Universal CRT (controlled room temperature) shipper series to ensure thermal protection for pharmaceuticals, biologics, vaccines and other high-value products.

The demand for CRT shipping solutions has soared due to increased global regulations in the shipments of pharmaceuticals and other high-value biologics to comply with temperature control norms, entailing each product's labeled storage requirements.

Sonoco ThermoSafe’s relentless focus on regulatory compliance to storage temperature limits has resulted in the invention of this design-qualified shipper series.

The newly launched expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulated containers ensure controlled room temperature protection for pharmaceuticals and other high-value biologics for up to four days. Regardless of the season, Sonoco ThermoSafe’s CRT shippers can hold a 14 liter payload for 72 hours and an 11 liter payload for 96 hours.

S.C.-based Sonoco Products, which is a global manufacturer of consumer and industrial packaging products along with Graphic Packaging Holding Company (GPK - Snapshot Report), AEP Industries Inc. and AptarGroup, Inc. (ATR - Analyst Report), posted fourth-quarter 2012 adjusted earnings of 56 cents per share compared with 46 cents in the year-ago quarter.

Net sales increased 4% year over year to a record $1.176 billion in the reported quarter. The improvement was attributable to incremental revenues of $46 million from the Tegrant acquisition and higher volumes, especially from Display and Packaging and Paper and Industrial Converted Products segments.

Sonoco Products expects first-quarter 2013 earnings per share to lie in the range of 50 to 54 cents per share. It guided full year earnings in the range of $2.26 to $2.34 per share.

Our View

Organic sales growth, geographic expansion and strategic acquisitions remain growth drivers for Sonoco Products. However, volatile raw material prices and uncertainty among its customers, given the slow recovery in the U.S and ongoing European weakness, and higher pension costs pose hindrance to the company’s growth.

Sonoco Products currently retains a short-term Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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