U.S. Steel Earnings: As Losses Narrow, CEO Sees Profit Ahead

U.S. Steel Earnings: As Losses Narrow, CEO Sees Profit AheadUnited States Steel (X) reported Tuesday that its net loss narrowed significantly in the second quarter to $25 million, or 17 cents per share as net sales more than doubled. The Pittsburgh steel product maker reported net losses of $157 million, or $1.10 per share, in the first quarter of 2010, and net losses of $392 million, or $2.92 per share, in the second quarter of 2009.

Excluding items, U.S. Steel earned 45 cents a share, completely missing analysts' estimates for profit of 63 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters.

Second-quarter income from operations improved to $198 million, compared to a loss from operations of $57 million in the first quarter of 2010 and a loss from operations of $465 million in the second quarter of 2009, as sales jumped to $4.68 billion from $2.13 billion in the last year quarter. Analysts had expected sales of $4.63 billion. Sequentially, too, the company improved sales, shipments and operating results.

Looking ahead, CEO John Surma said, "We expect to report an overall operating profit in the third quarter as the U.S. and European economies continue to work their way through a gradual and uneven recovery process. Operating results are expected to be below the second quarter largely due to a decrease in shipping and production volumes for our Flat-rolled segment, reflecting slower order rates, primarily from spot market customers thus far in the quarter."

Shares of U.S. Steel fell more than 3% in premarket trading.
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