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U.S. Steel expects $1.7 billion in earnings this year

U.S. Steel's Gary Works mill is shown. The company expects $1.7 billion in earnings this year.

U.S. Steel, which has only turned an annual profit twice in the last eight years, said its outlook is finally brightening.

The Pittsburgh-based steelmaker, one of Northwest Indiana's largest employers, forecasts that it will make $250 million in Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization, or EBITDA, in the first quarter of 2018, and $1.7 billion in EBITDA for the year.

Last year, U.S. Steel turned a profit of $387 million on EBITDA of $1.1 billion. The company had forecast $1.5 billion in EBITDA in 2018 but now expects its financial situation will improve because of market conditions, the Section 232 tariffs of 25 percent of most imported steel products and more shipments from the newly restarted Granite City Works mill in Illinois.

"Given the market dynamics primarily related to President Trump’s recent order, which imposes a 25 percent tariff on steel imports from certain countries resulting from the Section 232 national security investigation, and the announced restart of one blast furnace and the steelmaking facilities at Granite City Works, the company is providing full-year 2018 guidance," U.S. Steel said in a news release. "The company believes the impacts on market conditions from the Section 232 actions will become clearer over the next several months, which may affect our results."

U.S. Steel expects to ship out an additional 100,000 tons of steel a month once its restart of Granite City Works near St. Louis is complete.

"The company expects the benefits from these actions will be primarily reflected in our results in the second half of the year, as recent price changes become more fully realized for spot and contract volumes, and shipments increase from Granite City Works," U.S. Steel said in the news release.

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Business reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.