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Cedar planks are stacked at a lumber yard in Montreal on April 25, 2017.Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

Resolute Forest Products Inc. reported a first-quarter profit of $87 million compared with a loss a year ago as its sales climbed higher, helped by strong lumber prices.

However shares in the forestry company fell $2.37 or about 12 per cent to $16.70 in trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange as its profit fell short of expectations.

Resolute says it earned $1.06 per diluted share for the quarter ended March 31, compared with a loss of $1 million or a penny per share a year earlier.

Sales totalled $873 million in the quarter, up from $689 million.

Excluding special items, Resolute reported a profit of $1.45 per diluted share, compared with a loss of 33 per share in the first quarter of 2020.

Analysts on average had expected an adjusted profit of $1.66 per share, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

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