U.S. Steel Warns of Slowdown in Orders as Industry’s Rally Ebbs
(Bloomberg) — U.S. Steel Corp. projected quarterly results that were lower than Wall Street estimates, the second producer in as many days to do so in a further sign of slowing for the industry that’s been riding record steel prices to higher profits.
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The company said in a statement Thursday that adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization will be about $1.65 billion. That compares with the $2.13 billion average analysts had been expecting. The Pittsburgh-based steelmaker said it reflected a slowdown in orders related to seasonal end-of-year weakness.
The announcement comes a day after Nucor Corp., the largest U.S. steelmaker, said results in its steel mills unit would be “comparable” to the prior quarter, after saying in October it anticipated growth in the business. Benchmark U.S. steel prices have started to show some cracks after surging to an all-time high amid robust demand due to reopening economies.
“Our fourth quarter guidance indicates another quarter of strong performance yet reflects a temporary slowdown in order entry activity, which we believe is related to typical seasonal year-end buying activity,” U.S. Steel Chief Executive Officer David Burritt said in the statement.
U.S. Steel was seeking buyers earlier this quarter to take over abandoned orders of some high-end metal used by automakers. Still, the company’s shares have climbed about 40% this year, and Burritt said 2022 will be another good year, with a stable cash position from high steel prices giving it the opportunity to fund more investments and boost its capital allocation to shareholders.
Shares of Nucor, U.S. Steel, Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. and Steel Dynamics Inc. all posted monthly declines in November.
U.S. Steel’s stock was down 4.9% as of 5:50 p.m. in New York after regular trading hours.
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