By Maria Armental
United States Steel Corp. swung to a profit in the second quarter and sales more than doubled from the year earlier, helped by continued strong demand and low steel industry inventories that are driving up prices.
The steelmaker (NYS:X) swung to a profit of $1.01 billion from a year-earlier loss of $589 million. On a per-share basis, the profit was $3.53, or $3.37 as adjusted.
Sales rose to $5.03 billion from $2.09 billion a year earlier.
The company had projected a profit of about $2.85 a share, or $3.08 a share as adjusted. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected an adjusted profit of $3.08 a share on $4.63 billion in revenue.
“We are bullish that today’s strong market environment can continue,” Chief Executive David B. Burritt said in a statement.” Our business is firing on all cylinders; our balance sheet has been enhanced, and our pension and OPEB plans are fully funded. We are capitalizing on today’s supportive market to get to our future faster.”
Burritt said the company expects to set records in the third quarter with a record for adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, or adjusted Ebitda.
The company said it would reduce debt by up to $1 billion more over the next 12 months, beyond the $2.2 billion in debt reduction that it had previously committed.
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