US economy ‘flat’ but looking up: CMC

Oct 24, 2012 | 04:17 PM | Michael Cowden

Tags  Commercial Metals, CMC, Joseph Alvarado, Barbara Smith, steel, Michael Cowden

CHICAGO — While the North American economy is far from its peak of several years ago, it has become attractive compared with the rest of the world given its relative stability in the face of global economic volatility, Commercial Metals Co. (CMC) executives said.

The Irving, Texas-based steelmaker has been affected by the strong Australian dollar and the difficulties it has caused for the country’s economy; the eurozone crisis, which has hurt CMC operations in Poland; and a slowdown in growth in China, which has put pressure on margins in the region, CMC president and chief executive officer Joseph Alvarado said.

Even previously profitable products related to energy, such as energy tubulars and special bar quality (SBQ) steel, have seen margins squeezed. That cut into earnings from CMC’s international marketing and distribution business, chief financial officer and senior vice president Barbara Smith said.....

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