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EARNINGS

Bethlehem Steel Posts Loss

October 30, 1986

Bethlehem Steel Corp. on Wednesday reported a $71.3-million third-quarter loss. It was the company's fifth consecutive money-losing quarter, but the loss was $5.5 million less than in the same quarter of 1985.

The nation's third-largest steelmaker reported a $186.9-million loss for the first nine months of 1986.

Chairman Walter F. Williams said the company expected to post a fourth-quarter profit due to a $140-million tax refund, but "we still expect to incur a loss for the year."

Bethlehem said the latest losses came on revenue of $1.03 billion for the third quarter, down 20.2% from the same period of 1985, and on revenue of $3.31 billion for the first three quarters, or about 13.6% lower than in the same 1985 period.

The company lost $76.8 million in the third quarter of 1985 and $118.5 million in the first nine months of 1985.

Spokesman Gary Graham said the 1986 losses were due to depressed steel, iron ore and coal prices and losses in the corporation's Marine Construction Group, which was profitable in the third quarter and first nine months of 1985.

Steel prices and shipments were off in the 1986 periods, but "cost improvements at our steel plants more than offset this decline in revenues," the company said.

However, it said, there were increased costs and lower prices at coal and iron ore operations.

"The markets for most of our products remain soft," Williams said, "and we see no significant improvement in steel demand for the next six months."

Williams said the company "experienced an increase" in orders for certain products due to a work stoppage at USX Corp. that began Aug. 1.

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