Bethlehem's stock drops on disappointing quarter

July 28, 1994|By Ross Hetrick | Ross Hetrick,Sun Staff Writer

Bethlehem Steel Corp. stock dropped more than 7 percent yesterday after the nation's No. 2 steelmaker reported lower-than-expected earnings.

Bethlehem reported it made $26 million, or 14 cents a share, in the second quarter.

The news sent its share price down $1.625 to $20.75.

"It is definitely disappointing in what should be the strongest steelmarket in 20 years," said Charles A. Bradford, a metal analyst for UBS Securities Inc., a New York investment banking firm.

Yesterday's results were the company's fourth consecutive profitable quarter -- excluding a $290 million restructuring charge in the fourth quarter -- after suffering three years of losses.

The results, compared to a $13.6 million loss in the previous second quarter, come from strong demand from the automotive, machinery and light construction markets, said Curtis H. "Hank" Barnette, Bethlehem's chairman and chief executive officer.

This demand, which boosted total sales by 10.1 percent to $1.2 billion in the quarter, also allowed the company to restore prices to levels of several years ago, Mr. Barnette said.

The continuing strong demand is good news for the 5,500 workers at Bethlehem's Sparrows Point steel mill in Baltimore County, which is working at capacity.

But business is poor at the company's adjoining shipyard, where the work force has dwindled from 1,200 at the end of 1992 to 500 now.

"Business in the ship repair and construction area is very, very difficult at this time," Mr. Barnette said.

Bethlehem.. .. Ticker .. .. .. Yesterday's Steel Corp. .. Symbol .. .. .. Cls. .. Chg.

.. .. .. .. .. BS .. .. .. .. 20 3/4 .. . -1 5/8

Period ended

June 30 .. .. .. .. 2nd qtr. .. .. .. Year ago .. ... Chg.

Revenue .. .. $1,230,500 .. .. .. $1,117,400 .. ... +10.1%

Net Income .. $26,000 .. .. .. .. $(13,600) .. .. .. . --

Primary EPS .. $0.14 .. .. .. .. .. $(0.27) .. .. .. . --

.. .. .. .. .. .. 6 mos. ... .. ... Year ago .. .. . Chg.

Revenue .. .. . $2,361,700 .. .. $2,137,800 .. ... +10.5%

Net Income ... $38,900 .. .. .. . $(54,400) .. .. . . --

Primary EPS .. .. $0.17 .. .. .. .. $(0.80) .. .. .. . --

Figures in thousands (except per share data.)

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