US Steel Shares Tumble on Earnings, Revenue Miss, Weak Outlook

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United States Steel Corp. (NYSE: X) reported third-quarter 2016 results after markets closed Tuesday evening. For the quarter, the steelmaker posted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.32 on revenues of $2.69 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported a loss per share of $1.18 on revenues of $2.83 billion. The consensus estimates called for EPS of $0.80 per share on revenues of $2.82 billion.

Adjusted for an impairment charge of $14 million, non-GAAP EPS totaled $0.40.

In the company’s rolled steel business, profits rose to $114 million in the third quarter, up from $6 million in second quarter and way up from a loss of $18 million in the same period a year ago. European earnings rose to $81 million, up sequentially from $55 million and up year over year from $18 million. Net earnings totaled $132 million compared with a loss of $170 million a year ago and a net profit of $28 million in the second quarter of 2016.

CEO and president Mario Longhi said:

Our third quarter results improved significantly from the second quarter as each of our segments improved, resulting in our highest quarterly segment income since the fourth quarter of 2014. We faced some operational challenges that limited our ability to realize the full benefits of an improved pricing environment, but we continued to make progress in our Carnegie Way transformation efforts. With our very strong cash and liquidity position, we remain focused on the investments that we need to continue to make to revitalize our facilities and deliver value-enhancing solutions for our customers. … As we move through the rest of 2016, operational issues remain a headwind for us, as we continue to recover from unplanned outages in the third quarter, while also completing our planned maintenance outages. We have identified the critical assets that require additional capital investment and increased maintenance spending in order to improve our reliability and quality, and to lower our costs.

In its outlook statement U.S. Steel said it expects a 2016 net loss of $355 million, or $2.26 per share, and adjusted EBITDA of $475 million. The company also expects to be cash positive for the year including the net proceeds from an equity offering of $482 million and an improvement of $500 million working capital resulting from better inventory management, and improved sales and operations planning practices. The company also said that it believes “market conditions will change, and as changes occur during the balance of 2016, our net loss and adjusted EBITDA should change consistent with the pace and magnitude of changes in market conditions.”

A miss on both EPS and revenue estimates won’t make investors happy. And the expected full-year loss is far larger than the consensus estimate of $1.07 per share.

The stock trades down about 5% in Tuesday’s after-hours session at $17.78 in a 52-week range of $6.15 to $27.64. The consensus 12-month price target is $20.47.

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