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EARNINGS ROUNDUP / U.S. STEEL

Earnings triple on higher prices

October 29, 2008|Times Wire Reports

United States Steel Corp.'s quarterly profit more than tripled as higher prices led to record gains in its tubular and flat-rolled steel businesses, but the company warned that softening demand in North America and Europe would hurt results for the rest of the year.

U.S. Steel Chief Executive John P. Surma said the Pittsburgh-based company turned in the most profitable quarter in its history, but warned that fourth-quarter results would decline because of "the volatile global economic climate." He cited "softening demand and prices for flat-rolled products in North America and Europe."

U.S. Steel reported net income of $919 million, or $7.79 a share, in the third quarter, compared with $269 million, or $2.27, a year earlier. Profit was lowered by 67 cents a share because of charges for employee signing bonuses under a union labor agreement and environmental remediation.

Excluding one-time charges, a spokesman said, U.S. Steel earned $8.79 a share. Quarterly sales soared 68% to $7.31 billion, easily beating Wall Street forecasts.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, on average, predicted earnings per share of $7.09 on revenue of $7.2 billion. Shares of the company rose $4.38, or 14.2%, to $35.20.

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