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Worthington outlook bullish as income rises

Keywords: Tags  Worthington Steel Industries, steel, energy, earnings results, John McConnell

NEW YORK — Worthington Industries Inc.’s net income swelled in its fiscal third quarter as an increase in volumes more than offset lower average selling prices in its steel processing division, the company said.

"We had a record (fiscal) third quarter, with nearly all of our businesses performing at or above our expectations," Worthington chairman and chief executive officer John McConnell said in a statement.

"We anticipate a good quarter for our fiscal year-end, and we see a favorable environment to continue our growth path on several fronts," he added.

The Columbus, Ohio-based steel processor and distributor recorded net income of $37.1 million for the three months ended Feb. 28, up 16.8 percent from the preceding three months 43.5 percent higher than the same year-ago period. Sales for the period totaled $619.5 million, down 0.5 percent sequentially but up 1.3 percent year on year.

"There was strength in some areas of the economy, with good automotive demand and the return of some agriculture business for steel processing, along with solid volumes in (the pressure cylinders segment’s) new oil and gas business. (The) engineered cabs (segment), while still experiencing lower volumes in the short term, is aggressively reducing costs and matching up their operations with demand," McConnell said.

Looking forward, Worthington expects further improvement, especially due to the company’s increased exposure to the energy markets since its recent purchase of tank and pressure vessel manufacturer Westerman Cos. (, Sept. 18).

"The economy continues to show signs of nonlinear improvement in many of the markets we serve," McConnell said. "We are very focused on the energy space, which includes our oil and gas product lines, alternative fuels, and other opportunities we are pursuing that would deepen our capabilities in that market. The acquisition of Westerman has proven to be a very good one, opening us up to further growth possibilities."

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