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PSC Metals posts another 1st-qtr. loss

Keywords: Tags  scrapyard, ferrous prices, nonferrous prices, PSC Metals, Icahn Enterprises LP, Lisa Gordon

PITTSBURGH — PSC Metals Inc. continues its struggle to return to profitability, chalking up another first-quarter loss amid weaker ferrous shipments and selling prices.

The Mayfield Heights, Ohio-based metals recycler and broker posted a net loss of $6 million in the three months ended March 31 compared with a $2-million net loss in the year-ago quarter. Net sales dropped to $264 million in the quarter vs. $332 million in the same comparison.

The company’s nonferrous sales totaled 67.6 million pounds, an improvement from 60.9 million pounds in the year-ago period, as the company saw an increase in shipments of aluminum ingots and electric motors. Average nonferrous selling prices in the quarter were down 8 cents, or 8 percent, primarily due to lower market pricing, New York-based parent company Icahn Enterprises LP said in earnings May 3.

However, ferrous shipments were down in the quarter, dropping to 376,000 tons compared with 455,000 tons in the year-ago quarter. Average ferrous scrap selling prices were down $75 a gross ton, or 17 percent, compared with first-quarter 2012.

The lower ferrous scrap selling prices reflect steel mills’ lower utilization rates in the quarter as well as a weak export market, the company said.

The company noted that competition for feedstock continues to negatively impact margin percentages. PSC Metals’ gross margin as a percentage of net sales was a loss of 1 percent compared with income of less than 1 percent in the year-ago quarter, the company said.

Parent company Icahn posted first-quarter net income of $277 million, up from $49 million in the same quarter last year, as sales increased to $4.57 billion vs. $2.4 billion in the year-ago quarter.

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