ArcelorMittal SA (ADR) (NYSE:MT) beat earnings estimates and more than doubled its core profit in Q1 on higher steel prices and shipments, the company announced this morning. MT stock was down in pre-market trading.
Earnings per share were 33 cents versus analysts consensus of 18 cents. Core profit (EBITDA) rose by 140% in the March quarter to $2.23 billion, above the $2.1 billion forecast by 10 analysts surveyed by Reuters. ArcelorMittal said sales and core profit were up in all of its markets, with the biggest gains in Europe. Operating income increased to $1.6 billion, compared to $0.8 billion in 4Q 2016.
Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal is the world’s biggest steel and mining company, with a presence in 60 countries.
Steel prices have climbed amid increasing demand and capacity cuts in China. China faced a number of anti-dumping measures that knocked steel exports from record levels of 2015, Reuters reported last month.
Global steel demand will grow more than previously forecast in 2017 due to a recovery in developed economies and accelerating growth in emerging and developing markets, especially Russia, Brazil and India, industry group World Steel Association (Worldsteel) said last month. Demand is likely to expand 1.3% in 2017 to 1.535 billion tonnes and an additional 0.9% in 2018 to 1.549 billion tonnes,Worldsteel said.
MT stock has slipped more than 3% in the last month, through yesterday’s market close. In mid-April traders suddenly became very concerned that Chinese demand for metals was going to dry up, that demand for materials in the United States was never going to meaningfully materialize as President Donald Trump’s infrastructure agenda continues to hit headwinds.