CLEVELAND, Aug. 5, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Olympic Steel, Inc., (Nasdaq:ZEUS), a national steel service center, today announced its financial results for the second quarter and first half ended June 30, 2010.

Net sales for the second quarter of 2010 totaled $212.8 million, a 73.8% increase from the $122.4 million for the second quarter of 2009. Tons sold in the second quarter of 2010 increased 45.2% to 252 thousand from 174 thousand in the second quarter of 2009. Second quarter 2010 net income totaled $3.3 million, or $0.30 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $33.8 million, or $3.11 per diluted share for last year's second quarter. Last year's second quarter results included a $50.5 million lower of cost or market pretax charge to write down the value of inventory as of June 30, 2009. 

Net sales for the first half of 2010 totaled $380.7 million, a 44.6% increase from the $263.3 million for the first half of 2009. Tons sold in the first half of 2010 increased 37.2% to 474 thousand from 345 thousand in the first half of 2009. First half 2010 net income totaled $5.0 million, or $0.45 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $59.3 million, or $5.45 per diluted share for last year's first half. The 2009 results included $81.1 million of lower of cost or market pretax charges to write down the value of inventory as of March 31 and June 30, 2009. 

Commenting on the results, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael D. Siegal stated, "We are pleased with our second quarter results, and the sequential improvements in sales and earnings over the first quarter.  Our second quarter shipments increased by 14% over the first quarter of 2010, and our shipments in the first half of 2010 increased year over year by 37.2%, nearly doubling the market increase in total steel shipments of 19.1%, as reported in the Metals Service Center Institute's Market Activity Report. Our balance sheet remains exceptionally strong. We recently closed on a new $125 million, five year, asset based loan facility, which provides Olympic Steel with improved availability and greater flexibility to grow our business over the next five years, while lowering our borrowing cost, as compared to our prior facility. The new facility provides Olympic Steel with a favorable capital structure to grow through greenfield locations and acquisition opportunities. We expect to invest in growth initiatives in the second half of 2010, despite third quarter normal seasonal market softness and the accompanying price pressures that follow."

Olympic Steel's Board of Directors approved a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.02 per share to be paid to shareholders of record as of September 1, 2010, and distributed on September 15, 2010. 

A simulcast of Olympic Steel's 2010 second quarter earnings conference call may be accessed via the Investor Relations section of the Company's website at www.olysteel.com . The simulcast will begin at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time today and a replay of the call will be available for 14 days thereafter.

Founded in 1954, Olympic Steel is a leading U.S. metals service center focused on the direct sale and distribution of large volumes of processed carbon, coated and stainless flat-rolled sheet, coil and plate steel and aluminum products. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, the Company operates 16 facilities. For further information, visit the Company's web site at http://www.olysteel.com .

The Olympic Steel, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=3582

It is the Company's policy not to endorse any analyst's sales or earnings estimates. Forward-looking statements in this release are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words or phrases such as "may," "will," "anticipate," "should," "intend," "expect," "believe," "estimate," "project," "plan," "potential," or "continue," as well as the negative of these terms or other similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those implied by such statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: fluctuations in steel demand and steel pricing; general and global business, economic, financial and political conditions, including the ongoing effects of the global credit crisis and recovery; access to capital and global credit markets; competitive factors such as the availability and pricing of metal, industry shipping and inventory levels, and rapid fluctuations in customer demand and metal pricing; the cyclicality and volatility within the metals industry; the ability of our customers (especially those that may be highly leveraged, those in the domestic automotive industry and those with inadequate liquidity) to maintain their credit availability and to honor their agreements related to derivative instruments; customer, supplier, and competitor consolidation, bankruptcy or insolvency, especially those in the domestic auto industry; reduced production schedules, layoffs or work stoppages by our own, our suppliers' or our customers' personnel; the availability and costs of transportation and logistical services; equipment installation delays or malfunctions; the amounts, successes and ability to continue our capital investments and our business information system projects; the successes of our strategic efforts and initiatives to increase sales volumes, maintain or improve working capital turnover and free cash flows, reduce costs and improve inventory turnover while improving customer service; the timing and outcome of inventory lower of cost or market adjustments; the adequacy of our existing information technology and business system software; the successful implementation of our new enterprise-wide information systems; the timing and outcome of our joint venture's efforts and ability to liquidate its remaining real estate; our ability to pay regular quarterly cash dividends  and the amounts and timing of any future dividends; and our ability to generate free cash flow through operations, reduce inventory and repay debt within anticipated timeframes, the recently enacted federal healthcare legislation's impact on the healthcare benefits required to be provided by us and the impact of such legislation on our compensation and administrative costs. Further information on these and other risks and uncertainties is provided under Item 1A "Risk Factors" of our Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, which disclosure is incorporated herein by reference, and elsewhere in reports that the Company files or furnishes with the SEC. This release speaks only as of its date and the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent required by law. You are advised, however, to consult any further disclosures the Company makes on related subjects in its reports filed with or furnished to the SEC.
OLYMPIC STEEL
SELECTED FINANCIAL INFORMATION 
         
(in thousands, except per share data and ratios)
         
  Three Months Ended Six Months Ended
  June 30, June 30,
  2010 2009 2010 2009
SUMMARY RESULTS OF OPERATIONS: (unaudited) (unaudited)
         
Net sales  $ 212,756  $ 122,426  $ 380,657  $ 263,299
         
Operating income (loss)  5,584  (53,272)  8,913  (95,242)
         
Income (loss) before income taxes   5,063  (54,323)  7,886  (96,536)
         
Net income (loss)  $ 3,254  $ (33,832)  $ 4,965  $ (59,287)
         
Earnings per share:        
         
Net income (loss) per share - basic  $ 0.30  $ (3.11)  $ 0.46  $ (5.45)
         
Net income (loss) per share - diluted  $ 0.30  $ (3.11)  $ 0.45  $ (5.45)
         
  June 30, December 31,  
  2010 2009 2009  
SUMMARY BALANCE SHEET DATA: (unaudited) (audited)  
         
Accounts receivable, net  $ 100,021  $ 47,420  $ 51,269  
         
Inventories, net  159,820  123,619  111,663  
         
Net property and equipment  113,468  117,476  113,560  
         
Total assets   392,913  346,831  338,448  
         
Current liabilities  107,547  40,345  66,254  
         
Total debt  13,000  32,565  --  
         
Shareholders' equity  264,498  262,603  259,612  
         
Shareholders' equity per share  24.30  24.16  23.85  
         
Debt-to-equity ratio  .05 to 1  .12 to 1  n/a  
         
  Six Months Ended    
  June 30,    
  2010 2009    
OTHER DATA: (unaudited)    
         
Capital expenditures  6,301  9,514    
         
Cash dividends per share  $ 0.04  $ 0.07    
         
It is the Company's policy not to make quarterly or annual sales or earnings projections for external use and not to endorse any analyst's sales or earnings estimates.
                 
OLYMPIC STEEL
RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
                 
(in thousands, except per share and tonnage data)
                 
  Three Months Ended June 30, Six Months Ended June 30,
  2010 2009 2010 2009
  (unaudited) (unaudited)
                 
Tons sold                
Direct  228,532    157,145    429,556    308,418  
Toll  23,958    16,785    44,424    36,952  
                 
   252,490    173,930    473,980    345,370  
% change 45.2%   (50.8%)   37.2%   (48.4%)  
                 
Net sales  $ 212,756    $ 122,426    $ 380,657    $ 263,299  
% change 73.8%   (66.3%)   44.6%   (58.8%)  
                 
                 
                 
Costs and expenses                
                 
Cost of materials sold (exclusive of items shown below)  169,410 79.6%  97,661 79.8% 301,946 79.3% 217,977 82.8%
Inventory lower of cost or market adjustments  --  --  50,454 41.2%  --  --  81,063 30.8%
Warehouse and processing  13,049 6.1%  9,436 7.7%  23,621 6.2%  19,778 7.5%
Administrative and general  10,327 4.9%  7,383 6.0%  19,212 5.0%  17,328 6.6%
Distribution  5,080 2.4%  3,906 3.2%  9,136 2.4%  7,580 2.9%
Selling  4,804 2.3%  2,594 2.1%  8,681 2.3%  6,116 2.3%
Occupancy  1,243 0.6%  1,299 1.1%  2,643 0.7%  3,015 1.1%
Depreciation  3,259 1.5%  2,965 2.4%  6,505 1.7%  5,684 2.2%
                 
Total costs and expenses  207,172 97.4%  175,698 143.5%  371,744 97.7%  358,541 136.2%
                 
Operating income (loss)  5,584 2.6%  (53,272) (43.5%)  8,913 2.3%  (95,242) (36.2%)
                 
Interest and other expense on debt  521 0.2%  1,051 0.9%  1,027 0.3%  1,294 0.5%
                 
Income (loss) before income taxes  5,063 2.4%  (54,323) (44.4%)  7,886 2.1%  (96,536) (36.7%)
                 
Income tax provision (benefit)  1,809 35.7%  (20,491) 37.7%  2,921 37.0%  (37,249) 38.6%
                 
Net income (loss)  $ 3,254    $ (33,832)    $ 4,965    $ (59,287)  
                 
Earnings per share:                
                 
Net income (loss) per share - basic  $ 0.30    $ (3.11)    $ 0.46    $ (5.45)  
                 
Weighted average shares outstanding - basic  10,905    10,882    10,905    10,879  
                 
Net income (loss) per share - diluted  $ 0.30    $ (3.11)    $ 0.45    $ (5.45)  
                 
Weighted average shares outstanding - diluted  10,922    10,882    10,920    10,879  
                 
It is the Company's policy not to make quarterly or annual sales or earnings projections for external use and not to endorse any analyst's sales or earnings estimates.
CONTACT: Olympic Steel, Inc.         Richard T. Marabito, Chief Financial Officer         (216) 292-3800         Fax: (216) 292-3974

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