January 28, 2014 / 1:11 AM / in 4 years

UPDATE 1-U.S. Steel loss widens as steel shipments fall

Jan 27 (Reuters) - United States Steel Corp reported a wider fourth quarter loss as total steel shipments declined compared to last year.

The Pittsburgh-based steelmaker had a net loss of $122 million, or 84 cents per share, compared to a loss of $50 million, or 35 cents per share, a year earlier.

Net sales fell to $4.27 billion from $4.49 billion last year.

The company took a $302 million non-cash charge linked to the previously announced permanent closure of iron and steelmaking operations at its Hamilton, Ontario mill.

The move, part of a cost-cutting initiative dubbed “Project Carnegie” after steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, should cut costs in a market weighed down by excess steelmaking capacity.

Steel output fell 2 percent in the United States in 2013, as steelmakers responded to weak prices. Even so, there were noticeable price increases in the second half of the year as demand improved.

Excluding after-tax non-cash restructuring and other charges, U.S. Steel’s adjusted loss fell to 27 cents a share, from 41 cents a share.

Analysts, on average, had been expecting a loss of 25 cents a share on revenue of $4.36 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Income from the flat-rolled segment, its biggest unit by shipments, rose to $87 million from $11 million last year.

The company expects total reportable segment and other business income from operations to increase moderately in the current quarter from the fourth quarter.

Shares of the company fell as much as 4.3 percent in after market trading.

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