U.S. Steel Forecasts Flat-Rolled Loss After Accidents

U.S. Steel Corp., the country’s largest maker of the metal by volume, forecast a second-quarter loss from its biggest division after accidents and bad weather disrupted production at two plants.

The disruption will limit U.S. Steel’s production capabilities, reducing shipments and boosting costs, the Pittsburgh-based company said in a statement today.

The three blast furnaces at U.S. Steel’s Great Lakes plant in Ecorse, Michigan, were idled after a March 27 roof collapse. A contract worker operating a crane at the site of the collapse died in an April 4 accident. Furnaces at the Gary Works, U.S. Steel’s largest facility, were temporarily off-line as Great Lakes ice stopped some raw-material shipments, the company said April 2.

U.S. Steel today reported first-quarter net income of 34 cents a share, compared with a 51-cent loss a year earlier. That beat the 30-cent average of 17 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Second-quarter earnings will be 37 cents per share, according to the average estimate.

First-quarter sales fell 3.2 percent to $4.45 billion. The flat-rolled division accounted for 68 percent of U.S. Steel’s revenue in 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

U.S. Steel fell 2.9 percent to $25.58 at 5:02 p.m. after the close of regular trading in New York.

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