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US Steel sales, profits up in 2017

DULUTH—U.S. Steel is reporting fourth quarter 2017 earnings of $159 million, or 90 cents per share, a big improvement over a $105 million loss in the last quarter of 2016.

The Pittsburgh-based company, which reported its quarterly and annual results after the stock market closed Wednesday, Jan. 31, said sales of steel were up 18 percent to $3.13 billion, reflecting a 3 percent increase in shipments and higher selling prices.

For the full year, the company had a net income of $387 million, or $2.19 per share, compared to a 2016 loss of $440 million. For 2017 total sales were up 19 percent to $12.25 billion.

U.S. Steel forecast that, based on current prices and other market conditions, it expects to earn about $685 million, or $3.88 per share, in 2018.

U.S. Steel owns and operates the Minntac taconite iron ore mining and processing operations in Mountain Iron, Minn., and the Keetac operations in Keewatin, Minn., and is part owner of Hibbing Taconite.

"We finished the year with three solid quarters as investments in our assets helped to provide more stable operating performance, and results for all three of our reportable segments were in line with our expectations," said David B. Burritt, U.S. Steel CEO, in a statement. "We made good progress on our asset revitalization program in 2017, achieved the quality and reliability improvements we committed to for 2017, and are confident that we will achieve our 2018 improvement objectives."