The Fort Wayne, Indiana-based company reported net income of $204.3 million, down 10% from a year ago. Earnings were 91 cents a share, down from 96 cents a share, and missed analysts' forecasts of $1.04 a share.
Net sales rose 8.2% to $2.82 billion, short Wall Street's expectation of $2.83 billion.
First-quarter 2019 operating income for the company's steel operations was $312 million, or 22% lower than results in the fourth quarter of 2018. The decline came from metal spread compression driven by lower flat roll steel pricing, which more than offset increased overall steel shipments. The first-quarter 2019 average product selling price for the company's steel operations decreased $38 to $902 per ton. The average ferrous scrap cost per ton melted decreased $5 to $338 per ton.
"A downward trend in flat roll steel prices began in the second half of 2018, and continued through mid-first quarter 2019, reaching an inflection point in February 2019," Mark Millett, president and CEO, said in a statement. "The teams were able to increase shipments and offset some of the margin compression, resulting in first quarter 2019 consolidated operating income of $292 million and adjusted EBITDA of $382 million. The continued stabilization and improvement in flat roll steel prices are having a positive impact, resulting in increased flat roll order activity and solid order backlogs."