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Schnitzer's Profit 2Q Falls, But Beats View

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) â¿¿ Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc.'s earnings tumbled in the second quarter, hurt by lower prices but still topped market expectations. The company also boosted its dividend sharply.

The company, based in Portland, Ore., is one of the largest exporters of recycled ferrous metals in the U.S. It also operates automotive parts and steel manufacturing divisions.

Schnitzer's net income fell to $9.6 million, or 35 cents per share, for the quarter ended Feb. 29 from $30.8 million, or $1.12 per share, in the same period last year.

Its revenue rose nearly 23 percent to $886.6 million from $721.8 million as demand for its recycled metals offset weaker parts of its business.

Analysts polled by FactSet anticipated the company would earn 33 cents per share on revenue of $852.4 million

Schnitzer said that demand for the company's recycled metals grew but was slightly offset by lower prices. Its auto parts business sales volume and revenue improved, but also struggled with the impact of lower prices. Its steel manufacturing business was hindered by maintenance that cut its ability to produce and added costs during the period.

The company also announced that its board has declared a quarterly dividend of 18.75 cents per share, boosting the annual dividend rate to 75 cents from the previous rate of 7 cents per share. It said the move reflects its strong cash flow and commitment to shareholders.

The first quarterly payment under the new rate will be paid May 31 to shareholders of record as of May 17.

Shares of Schnitzer rose $1.06, or 2.8 percent, to $39.12 in afternoon trading. Its shares have traded between $32.82 and $64.46 in the past 52 weeks.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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