BRIDGEVILLE, Pa., Nov. 4, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Universal Stainless & Alloy Products, Inc. (Nasdaq:USAP) today reported that net sales for the third quarter of 2013 were $48.5 million, which is in line with the Company's guidance on October 28, 2013. Net sales were $42.9 million in the second quarter of 2013 and $61.4 million in the third quarter of 2012. Sequentially, third quarter 2013 shipment volume increased 15% compared to the second quarter of 2013, but decreased by the same percentage from the third quarter of 2012.
Compared with the second quarter of 2013, tons shipped increased to most end markets. Aerospace shipments were up 19%, power generation shipments were up 48%, and oil and gas shipments were up 30%, while heavy equipment market shipments were lower by 26%, mainly reflecting lower shipments of tool steel. There was also a step-up in premium alloy shipments both sequentially and from the third quarter of 2012.
The gross margin for the third quarter of 2013 was $2.4 million or 5.0% of sales in the third quarter of 2013, compared with gross margin as a percentage of sales of 12.4% in the second quarter of 2013 and 15.2% in the third quarter of 2012. As previously reported, the decrease was primarily due to a shift in sales mix to lower margin products, lower surcharges due to the decline in raw material prices, and lower manufacturing utilization.As a result, the Company incurred an operating loss of $2.0 million in the third quarter of 2013 as compared to operating income of $0.4 million in the second quarter of 2013 and $4.7 million in the third quarter of 2012. The net loss for the third quarter of 2013 was $1.7 million, or $0.25 per diluted share, also in line with guidance. The net loss for the third quarter of 2013 included a $0.4 million favorable settlement of an escrow account related to the asset purchase of the North Jackson facility in 2011 and a tax benefit of $0.7 million. In comparison, net income was $0.5 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, including a tax benefit of $0.8 million, in the second quarter of 2013, and $2.7 million, or $0.38 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2012.
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