U.S. Steel Q3 Profit Falls 70% on Furnace Costs

United States Steel Corp. (X) said Tuesday that third-quarter profit fell 70 percent as two major blast furnaces were rebuilt and costs increased.

Net income grew to $107 million, or 82 cents per share, for the July-September period from $354 million, or $2.72 per share, a year ago. Revenue fell 14 percent to $3.2 billion from $3.71 billion last year.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expected earnings per share of 77 cents on revenue of $3.26 billion.

Shares of U.S. Steel fell 7 cents to $36.28 on the New York Stock Exchange (search).

For the third quarter, U.S. Steel said its largest blast furnaces in the United States and in Europe were being rebuilt, and that operating income was affected by lower spot prices and fuel costs.

Income from flat-rolled steel operations fell to $41 million from $362 million a year ago, and European income from operations dropped to $32 million from $146 million.

The company expects fourth-quarter market conditions to improve over the third quarter, but said that results will remain well below those from the first two quarters of the year. U.S. Steel reported first- and second-quarter earnings per share of $3.03 and $1.88, respectively.

Analysts estimate earnings per share of $1.28 for the fourth quarter, and $7 for the year.