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Worthington Jumps the Most in Two Months on Higher Volume

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Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Worthington Industries Inc., the best-performing U.S. steel company this year, rose the most in more than two months after reporting higher shipments in the fiscal second quarter.

Worthington climbed 3.2 percent to $44.05 at the close in New York, the biggest increase since Oct. 10 and a record high. The shares have gained 69 percent this year.

Steel-processing shipments in the three months ending Nov. 30 increased 31 percent to 817,000 tons from 626,000 a year earlier, the Columbus, Ohio-based company said today in a statement. Revenue for the segment rose 43 percent to $492.1 million.

“Any volume surprises are welcome because flat-rolled shipments have been stuck in the doldrums for about two or three years,” Phil Gibbs, a Cleveland-based analyst at Keybanc Capital Markets Inc., said by phone today.

Domestic steel companies including Worthington have struggled with weak domestic demand and competition from imports since the global financial crisis and U.S. recession damped construction and manufacturing activity, the biggest steel-consuming industries.

Profit excluding an insurance payment related to a fire and marketing costs was 57 cents per share, beating the 55-cent average estimates of seven analysts compiled by Bloomberg.

Worthington is up 66 percent this year on a total-returns basis, the biggest increase among U.S. steel companies with a market value above $50 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sonja Elmquist in New York at selmquist1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net

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