Bubble Wrap

This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," January 31, 2005, that was edited for clarity.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right-y. Monday is National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day, and to celebrate, Sealed Air Corporation, the creators of the fun popping material, announced earnings that handily beat street estimates. Bill Hickey is the president, CEO, and director of Sealed Air Corporation.

Bill, good to have you.

BILL HICKEY, PRES. & CEO, SEALED AIR CORPORATION (SEE): Thank you very much. I'd like to pop a little tune, Neil.

CAVUTO: All right, I bet you do. Let me ask you, why is this such a big deal? People have a fixation with this stuff.

HICKEY: Neil, this has been one of the greatest products of the 20th Century. We invented it in 1960, primarily as a textured wall covering. But our founders couldn't find a way to put it on walls that it would stay.

And, lo and behold, the invention of the vacuum tube and the coming of the computer created a whole new industry of protective packaging.

CAVUTO: Now this is really, like you say, for packaging. It's not for just people popping at home or whatever, even though many do. But I wonder with an improved economy and more packages moving back and forth, whether that's just the wind at your bubble.

HICKEY: The wind is at our bubble. The fourth quarter of this year, our essentially industrial packaging materials, in which bubble wrap is a principal component, were up 11 percent for the fourth quarter, primarily on the higher shipping season for the holiday.

All of the Internet purchase and e-commerce drive needs for packaging to get it from the distribution center to your house in good shape, undamaged and unbroken.

CAVUTO: You know, this is better than those Styrofoam little pellets or whatever they use. They're a mess.

HICKEY: Those are the competition, Neil.

CAVUTO: Those are not you.

HICKEY: Those are not us.

CAVUTO: The pellet guys claim that theirs is more gravity friendly. In other words, that you can fit more of them around precious objects than you can yours, which is kind of awkward.

HICKEY: But you can't pop them.

CAVUTO: You can't pop them is right.

So what does this say about the economy? I mean, your business is booming. And more people are popping.

HICKEY: What it says is that we're seeing continued growth in the economy, not only in the United States, though, but all over the world. We had positive numbers in our industrial packaging business, I say both in Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific as economies continue to be reasonably good around the world.

CAVUTO: Who are the best poppers on the planet, besides Americans?

HICKEY: Oh, I'd have to say that every Sealed Air employee, our 18,000 people around the world pop these every day, and whether they are in...

CAVUTO: But when they're doing that, they're breaking the popper for the prospective customers, aren't they?

HICKEY: But they're having fun. And it's a fun place to work.

CAVUTO: Is your whole office decked out in this stuff? Is your desk covered in this?

HICKEY: My desk is not covered in it, but I've got rolls of it all over my office.

CAVUTO: All right. Now Michael Jackson is back in the courtroom, by the way, at California with the trial stuff going on today. Do you look at this is something, I would imagine, he and kids like to do. You ever sell any of this stuff to the Michael Jackson folks?

HICKEY: Don't know.

CAVUTO: You don't know. Big business, though.

HICKEY: It's a big business. It's a big business around the world, and it's a product everyone loves.

CAVUTO: All right. Bill Hickey, thank you very much. He's the guy behind the Sealed Air Corp. And they're very, very big at this.

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