Pittsburgh based United States Steel Corporation posted another down quarter but its chief executive says things are starting to look better. The company posted a net loss of $303 million in the third quarter of 2009. That equates to a $2.11 per share dip into the red. The numbers come as shipments were up by 41% and sales were up 32% from the previous quarter. U. S. Steel Chairman and CEO John P. Surma says, "… we brought several idled facilities online to satisfy increased customer order rates. Our European and Tubular segments had improved financial performance and our Flat-rolled segment's results were in line with the prior quarter despite the effects of continued low operating rates and facility restart costs." The company’s European segment recorded a small profit in the third quarter. Surma says the gains came with the help of lower raw material and energy costs and improved operating efficiencies.
While US Steel does not expect to finish the 4th quarter in the black, Surma says the trend is up, “We expect improvement in our overall fourth quarter results mainly as a result of increased demand for Flat-rolled products in North America, driven primarily by automotive markets and continued strength in tin mill markets. We remain cautious in our outlook for end user demand as customer order rates… and we will continue to adjust production to meet our customers' demand.” Surma opined that the world economy is on the mend and praised global stimulus policies. He says the company’s 4th quarter will be helped by, “continued improvement in credit markets and inventory restocking."
Analysts expected a loss of $2.87 per share on revenue of $2.72 billion.