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(MT) - Get ArcelorMittal SA Report

lower-than expected earnings on an adjusted basis and guidance is what's driving the losses behind the stock today, according to analysts.

ArcelorMittal stock has fallen 6.9% to $26.60.

ArcelorMittal said that its first quarter 2010 EBITDA (Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization ) is expected to be about $1.8 to $2.2 billion, lower than Steel Market Intelligence's estimate of $2.397 billion and the consensus $2.696 billion estimate.

The company reported fourth quarter earnings of 71 cents a share.

"Many accounting charges/credits yielded an actual adjusted loss of $(7 cents), much worse than our 39 cent forecast," Steel Market analyst Michelle Applebaum wrote. The bulk of the spread was in financing cost, which came in some 30 cents a share worse than Steel Market's forecast.

Applebaum was unimpressed that the company's operating performance came in lower than expected at most of the company's businesses, with the exception of AACIS (Asia, Africa and Commonwealth of Independent States) where falling shipments -- down 10% -- were mitigated by a much higher profit per ton, that is $54 versus $44.

Applebaum points out that ArcelorMittal is expecting lower average selling prices and higher costs to offset rising shipments, and that it also expects an increase in net debt for the first quarter.

Many steel stocks are down today.

AK Steel

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United Steel

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Steel Dynamics

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-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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