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MRC’s net falls despite rise in line pipe sales

Keywords: Tags  line pipe sales, MRC Global, oil country tubular goods, OCTG, Andrew Lane, James Braun, quarterly earnings, Thorsten Schier

NEW YORK — MRC Global Inc.’s third-quarter net income fell 30.2 percent year on year even as its line pipe sales volumes jumped significantly.

"During the third quarter we sold the largest volume of carbon line pipe from stock in the company’s history," chairman, president and chief executive officer Andrew R. Lane said during the Houston-based company’s third-quarter earnings conference call.

"The pricing is not where we want it to be but I see signs that it is starting to stabilize," he said.

Line pipe sales volumes rose 35 percent vs. the second quarter, with prices down 7 percent in the same comparison, Lane said.

The company recorded revenue of $278 million from its line pipe business and $106 million from its oil country tubular goods (OCTG) segment during the period, executive vice president and chief financial officer James E. Braun said, reflecting a change by MRC to refocus its sales resources from OCTG to line pipe.

The company’s move away from OCTG (, Feb. 25) was "timely" in light of the market’s competitive landscape and the large number of planned domestic capacity additions, Lane said.

Regarding recent acquisitions in the pipe distribution business, Lane estimated revenue for Marubeni-Itochu Tubulars America Inc., the subsidiary of Marubeni-Itochu Steel Inc. (MISI) that recently bought OCTG distributor Sooner Inc. (, Sept. 9), at between $1.8 billion and $2 billion, while Sumitomo Corp.’s footprint in domestic pipe distribution is now estimated at around $4.5 billion after its buy of Edgen Group Inc. (, Oct. 1).

MRC Global posted net income of $38.8 million during the quarter, down from $55.5 million in the same period last year, on revenue that declined 9.5 percent to $1.31 billion.

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