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U.S. Steel's third quarter results top estimates


U.S. Steel today reported third quarter results that handily topped analysts estimates, citing benefits from its Carnegie Way efficiency initiative and more stable industry conditions.

The Pittsburgh steelmaker reported a loss of $207 million, or $1.42 per share. Sales jumped 11 percent to $4.59 billion, while shipments rose nearly 8 percent.

The results included noncash restructuring charges of $577 million, or $3.88 per share, for actions announced last month, including the decision to take its Canadian operations into bankruptcy. They also included a gain of $45 million, or 30 cents per share, from the sale of real estate.

Excluding the one-time items, adjusted net income came to $325 million, or $2.16 per share. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast adjusted earnings of $1.20 per share on sales of $4.54 billion.

“Our results reflect the significant improvement in our earnings power from our Carnegie Way transformation efforts,” president and CEO Mario Longhi said in a statement. He said operating income of $479 million was the highest since the steel market peaked in 2008.

In the year-ago quarter, the steelmaker lost $1.79 billion, or $12.38 per share, on sales of $4.13 billion.

U.S. Steel upgraded its third quarter outlook last month when it announced it was taking its Canadian operations into bankruptcy. Steel producers are benefiting from strong auto sales, which are up more than 5 percent this year through September, as well as increased activity in construction, one of the industry’s largest customers.

Mr. Longhi forecast lower operating income in the fourth quarter, primarily because of significantly lower results for the company’s North American sheet steel operations. The company’s European and tubular businesses are expected to improve slightly in the third quarter, he said.

The results were disclosed after the market closed. U.S. Steel shares finished today at $38.15, up $1.85. They are up 29 percent this year.



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