U.S. Steel Profit Rises, Expects Weak 4th-Qtr




Reuters - October 30, 2012

U.S. Steel Corp reported a higher third-quarter profit but warned that its current-quarter results would be affected by the global economic slowdown.

The company, the largest steel producer in the United States by volumes, said it expects fourth-quarter results to decline in its three businesses, flat-rolled, European and tubular.

"Our results are expected to reflect continued weakness in the European and emerging market economies, as well as economic uncertainty in North America," Chief Executive John Surma said in a statement.

Prices of steel have plummeted in recent months as a result of weak demand in China, the world's largest producer and consumer of steel.

The benchmark 62-percent grade iron ore index fell 22 percent for the three months ended September. Prices have bounced back after hitting a three-year low of below $87 last month, but remain 25 percent lower than the year-high of $149.40.

U.S. Steel's profit warning follows a string of weak forecasts from rivals such as Nucor Inc and AK Steel Holding Corp.

Net profit doubled to $44 million, or 28 cents per share, in the third quarter, from $22 million, or 15 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue fell 8 percent to $4.7 billion while selling costs fell about 6 percent.