Oregon Steel Drops

Shares decline 5% after a 2-cent earnings miss.
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Oregon Steel Mills

(OS)

, a specialty and commodity steel products manufacturer, said its first-quarter earnings rose 17.6% from a year-ago period.

The company earned $33.4 million, or 93 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $28.4 million, or 79 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of $33.3 million, or 95 cents a share in the most recent quarter.

First-quarter revenue rose 20% from a year ago to $355.3 million as against analysts' expectation of $353.2 million.

The company expects revenue of $1.6 billion for the full year as against analysts' expectation of $1.5 billion.

"Despite the charge related to the oxygen contract buyout, due to continued strength in most of our product lines, we expect operating income in the second quarter of 2006 to be higher than the first quarter of 2006. Looking into the second half of the year, we see our product mix shifting to higher priced, higher margin products, more heavily weighted to the energy markets,'' the company said.

First-quarter operating income rose 7.5% from a year ago period to $58.7 million. However, operating margin declined 192 basis points to 16.5%.

By segment, first-quarter revenue from Oregon steel division rose 27.5% from a year-ago period to $219.4 million and operating income increased 6.6% to $38.6 million and revenue from rocky mountain steel mills division was up 9.8% to $135.9 million and operating income increased 9.2% to $20.1 million.

Shares dropped $2.47 to $48.14.

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