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U.S. Steel Profit Up in Quarter, Down for Year : Oil, Gas Income Rises During Final Period

January 29, 1986|From Times Wire Services

PITTSBURGH — United States Steel Corp. said Tuesday that its fourth-quarter net income rose to $57 million during 1985 from $29 million in the same period a year earlier.

The nation's largest steel producer said revenue for the quarter remained unchanged at about $4.7 billion.

For the year, U.S. Steel reported a profit of $409 million, a 17% drop from $493 million reported for 1984.

Chairman David M. Roderick said weak prices in major markets helped depress earnings.

"Worldwide overcapacity and the high level of foreign steel imports . . . have radically affected domestic markets," Roderick said in a news release.

He cited the company's recently announced agreements with Pohang Iron & Steel Co. of South Korea to set up a joint venture in California and with Worthington Industries to build and operate a steel-processing facility in Michigan as examples of its response to the evolving market.

Oil Income Rises

U.S. Steel's oil and gas businesses, led by Marathon Oil, reported fourth-quarter operating income before foreign taxes of $315 million, compared to $249 million a year earlier, largely because of improved profit margins and savings stemming from a voluntary retirement program.

At the same time, it said it expects the volatility of the world oil markets to continue with only modest growth expected domestically.

For the year, operating income for the oil and gas segment was nearly $1.3 billion on sales of $10.5 billion, equaling the figures of 1984.

The company in October said it had agreed to merge Texas Oil & Gas with a subsidiary. The merger is subject to stockholder approval at a meeting scheduled for Feb. 11.

The steel, mining and related resources division suffered an $88-million operating loss in the fourth quarter, largely because of a $43-million non-recurring charge in shipping operations, compared to a $27-million loss a year earlier.

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