NEW YORK U.S. Steel Corp.
posted a $73-million net loss in the first quarter as improved
results by its tubular and European segments were offset by a
weaker performance in the companys flat-rolled
"Lead times throughout the first
quarter of 2013 remained short and afforded buyers the
opportunity to limit their order book exposure, preventing
upward movement in spot market prices," the company said April
The first-quarter loss was down
66.7 percent from a $219-million loss in the same period last
year but 46 percent higher than a $50-million loss posted in
the fourth quarter of 2012.
First-quarter net sales totaled
$4.6 billion, down 11.2 percent from more than $5.17 billion a
year earlier but up 2.4 percent from nearly $4.49 billion in
the fourth quarter.
Shipments by the companys
tubular segment rose during the first quarter as "distributors
began replenishing inventory," the company said, although
"prices were lower due to the available supply of tubular
products and decreased drilling activity."
steelmakers European segment saw an uptick in
first-quarter shipments, particularly for value-added products,
as European service centers and distributors restocked.
U.S. Steel expects "comparable"
results for its tubular segment during the second quarter,
while results for the flat-rolled and European segments are
expected to decline, chairman and chief executive officer John
P. Surma said in a statement.
The flat-rolled segment is
expected to see higher operating costs in a market environment
"comparable to the first quarter," while shipments by the
companys tubular segment are expected to increase due to
a "higher level of drilling activity," Surma said. European
results are expected to decline due to higher raw material
costs, "primarily iron ore."
U.S. Steel shipments totaled
more than 5.49 million tons in the first quarter, down 3
percent from nearly 5.67 million tons a year earlier but up 4.9
percent from 5.24 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Realized prices by the
companys flat-rolled segment averaged $719 per ton in the
first quarter, down 5.9 percent from $764 a year earlier, while
average tubular prices fell 9.9 percent to $1,556 per ton from
$1,727 in the same comparison.