Los Angeles Business Journal

Reliance Steel’s Earnings Up, Outlook Down

By Deborah Crowe Thursday, October 27, 2011

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. reported Thursday that its third-quarter profit rose on strong demand, but the metals processer dampened expectations for the current quarter due to lower sales and weaker steel prices.

The Los Angeles company reported net income of $84.9 million ($1.13 per share) compared with $48.7 million (65 cents) in the same period a year earlier. Net sales rose 29 percent to $2.14 billion, with company’s strongest markets continuing to be in energy, aerospace, autos, farm and heavy equipment.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average expected per-share profit of $1.11 on revenue of $1.98 billion.

The company forecast that fourth quarter earnings would be between 70 cents to 80 cents per share, compared with the Wall Street consensus of 88 cents.

“Prices for the various metals that we sell remain volatile, and we expect this to continue through the fourth quarter, with a downward bias, resulting in overall slightly lower prices for our products,” Chief Executive David H. Hannah said in a statement. “We also expect lower tons sold because of a reduced number of shipping days, which is our normal seasonal pattern” in the fourth quarter.

Shares were up $3.54, or 8.5 percent, to $44.86 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.