U.S. Steel more than doubled its cash flow from operations to $800 million last year, up from $360 million two years earlier in 2015, according to the annual report the company filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The steelmaker's financial fortunes have greatly improved over the last few years along with market conditions and the widespread expectations that more tariffs will be imposed, boosting steel prices. U.S. Steel turned a $341 million profit in 2017 after losing more than $500 million the previous two years.
Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amoritization, or EBITDA, shot up to $1.08 billion last year, up from $510 million in 2016 and $202 million in 2015.
"EBITDA increased for all three reportable segments in 2017 as compared to 2016 with higher average realized prices in all three segments," U.S. Steel said in the annual report. "Our long-term strategic goals of improving our balance sheet, enhancing operational efficiency and reliability and seeking robust enforcement of our trade laws led to a successful year."
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Sales totaled $12.2 billion in 2017, up from $10.2 billion the previous year, largely because of higher steel prices.
"The increase in net sales in 2017 as compared to 2016 is primarily due to higher average realized prices in all of our reportable segments," U.S. Steel said in the annual report. "Improved market conditions for our flat-rolled segment, notably for hot-rolled, resulted in spot price increases in 2017 as well as price increases for both market-based and firm priced contracts from 2016 to 2017. Lower imports resulted in higher average realized prices for our USSE segment. Improved market conditions for our tubular segment resulted in higher average realized prices and higher shipments."
U.S. Steel made 10.8 million tons of steel in 2017, up from 10.7 million tons in 2016. But the steelmaker has the capacity to make 17 million tons of steel a year, including 7.5 million tons of capacity at Gary Works.