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Steel Dynamics profit up, but misses analysts' estimates

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Fort Wayne-based Steel Dynamics Inc., the fourth-largest U.S.-based steelmaker, reported second-quarter profit that trailed analysts’ estimates as falling prices for scrap metal hurt the recycling unit.

Net income was $49.2 million, or 22 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $16 million, or 8 cents a share, a year earlier, Steel Dynamics said Monday in a statement. Analysts projected profit of 24 cents a share, the average of 12 estimates in a Bloomberg survey.

Operating income in steel operations fell about 2.9 percent from the first quarter to $134 million as steel shipments dropped 10 percent, Steel Dynamics said. Profit in the OmniSource metal recycling unit tumbled 42 percent from the prior period to $25 million because of falling selling prices, the company said.

“Although the economy has slowly improved over the past few quarters, at this point we are cautious about the outlook for the second half,” CEO Keith Busse said in the statement.

Companywide sales more than doubled in the quarter from a year earlier to $1.63 billion, less than the $1.64 billion average estimate of six analysts in the Bloomberg survey.

Nucor Corp., U.S. Steel Corp. and AK Steel Holding Corp. are the three largest U.S. steelmakers by 2009 revenue.

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