Pittsburgh’s transformation from steel and manufacturing to eds and meds is a well-known story that continues to attract national attention, this time from Time Magazine.
U.S. Steel Corp. expects to lay off more workers this year as the Downtown-based steel manufacturer accelerates cost-cutting to deal with a significant downturn in demand, CEO Mario Longhi said Wednesday.
The company has laid off 2,800 workers since the beginning of the year as it reduces steel production at all its plants in North America. It has issued notices to 9,000 of its workers warning them that they could be cut which gives the company flexibility to react to worsening conditions.
Longhi told analysts that the number of layoffs will go higher, but he didn’t provide specifics.
U.S. Steel today reported a fourth quarter profit of $275 million, capping its first profitable year since 2008.
The earnings, which amounted to $1.83 per share, topped Wall Street estimates. Sales fell 5 percent to $4.07 billion but also topped estimates.
The news sent U.S. Steel shares higher in after-hours trading.
For all of 2014, the Pittsburgh steel producer reported net income of $102 million, or 69 cents per share, vs. a 2013 loss of $1.65 billion, or $11.37 per share. Sales rose less than 1 percent to $17.51 billion.
U.S. Steel Corp. said it will curtail production at pipe-making plants in Alabama and Texas and may lay off almost 2,000 workers because of “softening market conditions” in the oil and gas industries.
The Downtown-based steelmaker said late Monday that it would “temporarily adjust operations” at Lone Star Tubular Operations in Texas, Fairfield Tubular Operations in Fairfield, Ala., and Fairfield Works, the primary flat-roll supplier of rounds to Fairfield Tubular Operations.
U.S. Steel Corp. said on Wednesday it plans to close two coke-making units and a tin mill that makes sheet for cans at plants in Illinois and Indiana, actions that would affect 545 workers.
The closings are the latest to be announced by the Downtown-based steelmaker as it “moves through its Carnegie Way assessment of all our operations,” said spokeswoman Courtney Boone.
Two weeks ago, U.S. Steel said it will shut down two more oil and natural gas pipe plants and lay off 756 workers. In August, it closed pipe plants in McKeesport and Bellville, Texas, affecting 260 workers.
CEO Mario Longhi has moved to restore confidence and improve performance. He has closed mills and saved almost $1 billion under its Carnegie Way initiative to cut costs and by halting an iron ore expansion project in Keewatin, Minn. The company also has relinquished control of its money-losing Canadian unit.
U.S. Steel will move to a new, five-story corporate headquarters on the former site of the Civic Arena in a deal that will provide a corporate anchor tenant for the 28-acre property where $440 million in development is planned, officials said Monday.
The company plans to lease the 268,000-square-foot building for 18 years, the company said at a news conference at Consol Energy Center.
U.S. Steel CEO Mario Longhi, Gov. Tom Corbett, Pitsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Penguins President and CEO David Morehouse attended the announcement against a backdrop of artist renderings that showed people strolling a plaza of concrete, grass and trees in front of a conceptualized version of the building.
Losses from U.S. Steel Corp.’s restructuring continued despite revenue and operating results that beat analyst’s expectations.
The loss was an improvement from a year ago and was helped by the company’s flat-rolled steel operation and other segments, which did their best since 2008. Operating profit from flat-rolled, tubular, U.S. Steel Europe and other units totaled $479 million, or $94 per ton of steel produced, the company said. That compared to $113 million, or $24 per ton a year ago.
“Steel market conditions in the United States have remained stable, and our operations have performed well, particularly our flat-rolled segment, where we returned to more normal operating levels and income from operations increased by over $300 million from the second quarter,” CEO Mario Longhi said. “Our results reflect the significant improvement in our earnings power from our Carnegie Way transformation efforts.”
A succession of successful tax appeals by U.S. Steel earlier this year, resulting in the assessed value of some of its major properties in Allegheny County plummeting by millions of dollars, has put big dents in municipal and school budgets.
The drop in real estate tax revenue has prompted three school districts — Woodland Hills, Clairton and West Mifflin — to file court challenges to the appeals granted to U.S. Steel by the Allegheny County Board of Property Assessment, Appeals and Review, and is pushing Braddock to consider an earned income tax increase.
Ira Weiss, solicitor for the Clairton City School District, called U.S. Steel’s new assessments, which resulted in the value of its coke plant in Clairton dropping from nearly $10.6 million in 2012 to just above $2 million this year, “laughable.”
“We believe the approach of [U.S. Steel] in these appeals with these communities where they’ve been longtime partners is deplorable, really,” Mr. Weiss said. “It was devastating. … [Clairton’s] a small school district in a small town and no local government can sustain this kind of hit from an ongoing concern.”
Morphing from steel industry collapse to eds-and-meds rebirth, from a too-gray place that young people flee to one that attracts them as a “green” center of culture and recreation, from a tale of Rust Belt woe to one of urban transformation, it is indisputable that the Pittsburgh region is a far different place than it was 30 years ago.
And by most standards, it would seem to be a far better place as well.
Since 1983, when the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published a special section chronicling the unique and worrisome issues confronting the region during Depression-level hits to its workforce, Pittsburgh has lost people, corporations, churches, schools and, yes, even a prothonotary.
But it has rebuilt its economy; added museums, theaters and riverfront trails; replaced its sports facilities, airport and convention center; and reinvented the Pittsburgh Downtown as a place to live, while serving the thousands more who commute to it by opening a subway, busways and a highway to the north.
U.S. Steel today formally commissioned a new battery of ovens at its Clairton coke plant, a $500 million project the company said will preserve steelmaking jobs in the Mon Valley and improve the region’s air quality.
The project is a scaled back version of the $1 billion proposal the Pittsburgh steelmaker announced in late 2007, before the global recession decimated steel demand and caused the industry to retrench.
President and CEO John P. Surma said even after the scope was reduced, the project was the largest in the history of the Clairton plant and one of the largest in U.S. Steel’s 112-year history. He said it secures the jobs of 1,300 Clairton employees as well as the 1,400 who work at the company’s Edgar Thomson plant in Braddock and the Irvin plant in West Mifflin.
U.S. Steel Corp., the country’s largest producer of the metal, reported second-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates after demand rose for tubular products.
Net income fell to $101 million, or 62 cents a share, from $222 million, or $1.33, a year earlier, Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel said today in a statement. Profit excluding one-time items was 69 cents a share, exceeding the 49-cent average of 19 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales declined to $5.02 billion from $5.12 billion, compared with the $5 billion average estimate.
Demand from U.S. Steel’s customers in the oil and natural- gas drilling helped offset lower prices for hot-rolled steel coil, a benchmark product used in cars, trucks and appliances.