U.S. Steel tripled its first-quarter profit to $54 million, up from $18 million during the first quarter of 2018.
The Pittsburgh-based steelmaker earned $0.31 per diluted share in the first quarter, up from $0.10 per share a year ago. Amid improved market conditions with 25% tariffs on foreign-made steel, U.S. Steel brought in $81 million in adjusted net earnings in the first quarter, up from $57 million during the same time last year.
“Over the past few years, we have made strategic investments across our footprint, with a focus on our most critical flat-rolled steelmaking assets,” U.S. Steel President and CEO David Burritt said. “Our progress continued in the first quarter as we delivered strong financial results. Today's announcement of a state-of-the-art endless casting and rolling line at Mon Valley Works further strengthens our competitive position and will generate long-term value for our stockholders, customers, employees and community.”
The steelmaker's Flat-Rolled division, which includes Gary Works, East Chicago Tin and the Midwest Plant in Portage, made $95 million in net earnings in the first quarter, up from $33 million during the same period in 2018. The Flat-Rolled division shipped 2.7 million tons at an average price of $798 a ton, up from 2.5 million tons at an average price of $740 a ton during the first quarter of 2018.
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Company-wide, U.S. Steel shipped a total of 3.9 million tons in the first quarter, up from 3.8 million tons during the same time last year.
The company's net sales totaled $3.5 billion in the first three months of the year, up from $3.14 billion during the first quarter of last year.
U.S. Steel beat analysts' expectations that it would only make $0.17 per share. New York City-based analyst Charles Bradford said the company had not been expected to deliver a strong quarter because steel prices have been sliding since hitting a peak under the tariffs last summer.