UPDATE 1-A.M. Castle posts surprise Q2 profit

Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:29am EDT

* Q2 EPS $0.02 vs est loss $0.02/shr

* Q2 sales up 23 pct $240.1 mln

* Sees steady H2 demand levels

July 27 (Reuters) - Specialty metals and plastics distribution company A.M. Castle & Co (CAS.N) posted a surprise profit, helped by improved demand from end-markets.

"We expect demand levels for the balance of the year to remain steady from second quarter levels," Chief Executive Michael Goldberg said in a statement.

"Longer term, we remain optimistic about our opportunities for growth in our key target markets including aerospace, oil and gas and energy, and general industrial equipment," Goldberg said.

For the latest second quarter, the company posted a net income of $408,000, or 2 cents a share, compared with a loss of $5.5 million, or 24 cents a share, a year earlier.

Net sales rose 23 percent to $240.1 million.

Analysts, on average, were expecting a loss of 2 cents a share, excluding items, on revenue of $243.4 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

At its key metals segment, sales were up 23 percent at $213.3 million as average tons sold per day increased by 21 percent.

Shares of the Franklin Park, Illinois based company closed at $15.43 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Vinay Sarawagi in Bangalore; Editing by Prem udayabhanu) ((vinay.sarawagi@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 4135 5800; Reuters Messaging: vinay.sarawagi.reuters.com@reuters.net))