NS Sales Soar

The company cites a production outage for a sequential drop.
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NS Group

(NSS) - Get Report

posted a sharp gain in first-quarter earnings despite rising raw materials costs.

For the quarter ended last month, the Newport, Ky., steel company earned $19.3 million, or 86 cents a share, up from the year-ago $5 million, or 24 cents a share. Revenue rose to $139 million from $84.5 million a year earlier.

"Two major headwinds resulted in lower earnings for the first quarter 2005 relative to the 2004 fourth quarter," CEO Rene Robichaud said. "First, high purchased steel costs from late 2004 were reflected in first quarter cost of sales. Second, our first-quarter shipments were negatively impacted principally due to our planned major maintenance outage at our seamless operation in the fourth quarter of 2004."

The company said it expects lower purchased steel costs, higher shipments and higher revenue per ton in the second quarter.

NS shares rose $1.90 Monday to $33.70.