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U.S. Steel Posts a 6.6% Profit on Strong Growth in Europe

First-quarter profit rose 6.6 percent at Öffnet einen externen Link in einem neuen FensterUnited States Steel on strong growth in European operations, the company said Tuesday.

The company, based in Pittsburgh, said earnings grew to $273 million, or $2.30 a share, from $256 million, or $2.04 a share, in the same period last year. Revenue increased to $3.76 billion, from $3.73 billion in the first quarter of 2006.

The latest results included a $3 million pretax charge related to the company’s early redemption of debt securities, reducing profit by $2 million, or 2 cents a share.

Income from operations fell to $346 million, from $369 million during the same period last year. Flat-rolled and tubular segments declined, but results for the European segment jumped 65 percent.

While profit easily beat the expectations of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial, who were looking for earnings of $1.85 a share, shares of U.S. Steel fell $3.96, to $103.04, after the company said it expected flat second-quarter results.

“There was a general expectation in the market that U.S. Steel would do even better than the first quarter,” Timna Tanners, a Öffnet einen externen Link in einem neuen FensterUBS analyst, said.

During the first quarter, United States Steel announced plans to buy Öffnet einen externen Link in einem neuen FensterLone Star Technologies, a maker of welded pipe used in oil fields, in a $2.1 billion cash deal that would make it North America’s largest producer of tubular steel.

The company also said that it had formed a $93 million joint venture with two South Korean companies to build a domestic facility to produce spiral-welded pipe for the natural gas industry.

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