U.S. Steel finding workarounds to ease raw material disruptions from Russia

Apr. 29, 2022 7:25 PM ETUnited States Steel Corporation (X)By: Carl Surran, SA News Editor8 Comments

large bowl of molten metal at a steel mill. Steel production.

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U.S. Steel's (NYSE:X) best-ever Q1 and the company's expectation of delivering its best-ever Q2 was unable to prevent shares from falling 5.4% Friday to a six-week low, as industrial metals firms plunged in a broader stock market bloodbath.

U.S. Steel (X) is seeing consistently strong orders from equipment manufacturers for autos and appliances as well as the construction industry, which will help it extend record earnings, CEO David Burritt said on the company's earnings conference call.

The steelmaker, whose $3.05 Q1 adjusted EPS beat Wall Street estimates, said it will seek to "meaningfully" increase stock buybacks in Q2 to reward investors in anticipation of some of its most profitable quarters ahead.

CFO Christine Breves said U.S. Steel (X) had arranged for alternative supplies of iron ore and coal for its Slovakia mill to reduce its reliance on shipments from Russia.

The company told analysts all coal deliveries from Russia to the Slovakia mill are stopped, with "uninterrupted flow" of iron ore directly into the mill, which has ~78 days of inventory, and shipment volume from Europe is expected to remain consistent in the coming quarter.

U.S. Steel (X) is "better than Amazon," as paying 6x this year's free cash flow is "very compelling," Michael Wiggins de Oliveira writes in a new analysis posted on Seeking Alpha.

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