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U.S. Steel Stock Jumps After Q4 Sales Beat, $500 Million Share Buyback, Dividend

U.S. Steel is set for a solid opening bell gain Friday after posting better-than-expected fourth quarter sales and unveiling a new $500 million buyback plan.

Updated at 12:11 pm EST

U.S. Steel  (X) - Get United States Steel Corporation Report shares jumped higher Friday after the group posted stronger-than-expected fourth quarter sales and boosted its buyback plan by $500 million.

U.S. Steel said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in December were pegged at  raced to $1.038 billion, or $3.64 per share, shy of the Street consensus forecast of $4.41 but a massive improvement from the 27 cents per share loss recorded last year. A $513 million non-cash tax valuation, reversed from last year, lead to the earnings miss.

Group net sales, the company said, surged 120% from last year to just under $5.62 billion, topping analysts forecast of a $5.44 billion tally.

U.S. Steel also authorized another $500 million in share buybacks, adding to the $300 million unveiled in October. The group will also pay a 5 cents per share dividend 

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“We enter 2022 from a position of strength and are relentlessly focused on continuing our disciplined approach to creating stockholder value," said CEO David Burritt. "Our balance sheet has been transformed, record cash significantly de-risks strategy execution, and our capital allocation priorities have enhanced direct stockholder returns. We are a fundamentally different company from a year ago and expect 2022 to be another strong year.”  

U.S. Steel shares were marked 5.8% higher in late-morning trading Friday to change hands at $19.70 each, a move that would still leave the stock nursing a six-month decline of around 20%.

U.S. Steel is still looking to benefit from the President Joe Biden's "once in a generation" infrastructure bill, which was passed in early November, that will direct billions of investments into roads, rail and public transportation.

Included in the bill, which the Senate passed the plan on August 10, are plans for around $66 billion in spending for rail and Amtrak, $110 billion for new roads and bridges, $39 billion for transit and around $73 billion for power grid upgrades.

"The House has passed the #InfrastructureBill, which would provide roughly $1 trillion for upgrading the nation’s critical infrastructure," the United Steelworkers Union said through its verified Twitter account. "This is a big freakin' deal for us because Steelworkers supply America in so many ways!"