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ArcelorMittal buys back $89.6 million in shares

ArcelorMittal’s offices at Indiana Harbor. The steelmaker bought back 4 million shares.

ArcelorMittal recently bought back 4 million shares of its stock, valued at $89.67 million.

The Luxembourg-based steelmaker, one of Northwest Indiana's largest employers, set out to buy its owner shares earlier this month to meet obligations from employee share programs, it said. The company announced it would buy back its shares on Feb. 11 and gave itself until Dec. 31 to meet its target of 4 million shares, but reached that mark in less than two weeks.

The multinational steelmaking and mining company bought the shares at an average price of $19.89 per share.

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ArcelorMittal, which has local operations in East Chicago, Burns Harbor, Gary, Riverdale and New Carlisle, made 92.5 million tons of steel last year, turning a profit of $5.1 billion.

Flush with cash, U.S. companies bought back a record $1.1 trillion worth of their shares last year, a move that boosts earnings per share, lifts stock prices and puts money in shareholders' pockets. The trend has shown little sign of letting up, with Barron's forecasting that last year's record potentially could be shattered in 2019.

ArcelorMittal stock is publicly traded under the symbol MT.

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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.