SPARTANBURG, S.C., Feb. 7, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Synalloy Corporation (Nasdaq:SYNL), a producer of stainless steel pipe, fabricator of stainless and carbon steel piping systems, and producer of specialty chemicals, announces that the fourth quarter of 2010 produced net earnings of $1,462,000, or $0.23 per share, on a 46% sales increase to $37,639,000. This compares to a net loss from continuing operations of $287,000, or a loss of $0.02 per share, on sales from continuing operations of $25,843,000, in 2009's fourth quarter. For the year ended January 1, 2011, sales were $151,120,000, up 46% from sales of $103,640,000 for the same period of 2009. Net earnings for 2010 were $4,034,000, or $0.64 per share, compared to net earnings from continuing operations of $219,000 or $0.03 per share for 2009. Metals Segment Sales for the fourth quarter were $27,573,000, an increase of 60% compared to the fourth quarter of 2009 while operating income was $1,441,000, compared to a $985,000 loss in the comparable quarter last year. The sales increase resulted from an 18% increase in unit volumes combined with a 35% increase in average selling prices. The increase in unit volumes resulted from much higher commodity pipe sales that reflect more aggressive marketing of these products to gain market share, partially offset by lower non-commodity unit sales. Fourth quarter's selling prices, when compared to 2009's fourth quarter, reflects primarily much higher prices for non-commodity products resulting from selling more expensive special alloys. Higher stainless steel prices and a change in product mix to a higher percent of lower-priced commodity pipe also impacted the average selling price. The big improvement in operating income came primarily from our fabricated piping systems operations which had an excellent quarter. Sales for 2010 were $108,543,000, up 53% from 2009. Operating income for the year was $3,774,000 compared to a loss of $12,000 for 2009. The twelve month sales increase was comprised of a 50% increase in unit volumes combined with a 2% increase in average selling prices. The huge unit volume improvement was essentially the result of increased commodity pipe sales resulting from an aggressive effort to gain market share combined with a modest increase in non-commodity products. Although sales prices per pound increased about 16% for both our commodity pipe and our non-commodity products, the change in product mix to a much higher percentage of commodity pipe resulted in the modest overall selling price increase.