Resolute Forest Products, formerly known as AbitibiBowater, fell into the red during the fourth quarter with a net loss of $6 million as sales dipped 9%, from the same period a year ago, to $1.15 billion for the period ended Dec. 31, the company announced today.

In 2010, the company posted a net income of $4.24 billion during the fourth quarter, which reflected a number of one-time material adjustments from the implementation of reorganization plans and a fresh start in accounting connected to the company’s emergence from creditor protection in December 2010.

“Accordingly, unadjusted 2010 results do not provide a meaningful comparison to any subsequent period,” the company said.

For the year, the Montreal-based company, which releases its results in U.S. dollars, swung into the black with a $198 million operating income, up from the $160 million loss it posted in 2010. Net sales for the year remained flat at $4.76 billion.

Much like its fourth quarter net income, 2011’s net income of $41 million, the result of $125 million in specialty items, pales in comparison to the $2.61 billion net income posted in 2010, which was influenced by fresh-start accounting and reorganization plans.

The company’s wood products segment also slipped into the red during the fourth quarter with a $5 million loss, compared to $5 million in income it made last year. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) for the segment was $3 million for the quarter, down $11 million from the same period a year ago.

The segment’s year-end results revealed a $25 million loss, a plunge into the red from $9 million in income during 2010, and EBITDA of $8 million, down 84% from the year prior.

The company said the average lumber transaction price decreased by over $18 per thousand board feet and shipments were down 5% quarter-over-quarter. The results were due to seasonal slowdown for building products and a continued weak U.S. housing market, partly offset by the positive effects of the weaker Canadian dollar.

Adjusted EBITDA, which the company said best reflects its performance and is defined as EBITDA adjusted for certain items such as operating income (or loss) before special items, net income (or loss) before special items, and net income (or loss) per share before special items, remained the same as EBITDA for both the quarter and year-end results.

Aside from wood products, Resolute Forest Products produces pulp, specialty papers, and newsprint.