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Struggling United States Steel Posts Fourth-Quarter Loss, Sees 'Trough'

U.S. Steel revenue falls to $2.8 billion in quarter.
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United States Steel Corp.  (X) posted a narrower-than-expected loss for the fourth quarter and said it expects the current quarter to be "the trough for the year."

The company reported an adjusted net loss of  64 cents a share on $2.8 billion in revenue. In the same period a year ago the company posted adjusted earnings of $1.82 a share on sales of $3.7 billion. 

Analysts surveyed by FactSet had been expecting the company to report a loss of $1.03 a share, on sales of $2.8 billion. 

U.S. Steel and other steel companies based in the U.S. initially saw a boost to their business in the wake of tariffs imposed on steel imports from China and elsewhere by President Donald Trump almost two years ago. However, a rush to increase production in the wake of the move led to oversupply and falling steel prices through much of 2019. 

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Last month, U.S. Steel moved to close its production facility in River Rouge, Mich., which supplies auto makers in the Detroit region, putting more than 1,500 people out of work in a key battleground state for this year’s presidential election. The company is shifting production to its facilities in Indiana. 

In the upcoming quarter, analysts are forecasting a loss of $87.8 million, or 58 cents a share, on sales of $2.8 billion. 

“We are pleased to deliver better than expected results to end the year and are excited to turn the page to 2020 where we will continue to transition the business towards our future," said U. S. Steel Chief Executive Officer David B. Burritt in a statement.

In addition "The company currently expects the first quarter of 2020 to be the trough for the year due to the normal seasonality of our mining operations and lower first quarter shipments in flat-rolled [steel]," according to the statement.