May 7, 2009 / 2:04 PM / in 9 years

UPDATE 1-Gerdau AmeriSteel posts Q1 loss, suspends dividend

* Q1 loss $0.08/share vs. profit of $0.38/shr

* Suspends dividend

* Rev down 50 percent

May 7 (Reuters) - Gerdau AmeriSteel Corp GNA.TO GNA.N posted a quarterly loss as downturn in global economic activity hurt the steel producer’s shipments and selling prices.

The company also decided not to declare the usual $0.02 per share dividend this quarter, hurt by continued weakness in the economy.

Gerdau Ameristeel posted a net loss of $32.7 million, or 8 cents a share, for the three months ended March 31, 2009, compared with a profit of $163 million, or 38 cents a share, in last year.

Net sales for the quarter fell 50 percent to $1 billion.

Analysts on average were expecting the company to post a loss of 7 cents a share on revenue of $1.18 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

The company’s finished steel shipments for the quarter fell 50 percent to 1.2 million tons.

Selling prices for the quarter decreased $173 per ton over last year while average mill finished steel selling prices remained essentially flat. Shares of the company were trading down 5 Canadian cents at C$7.17 in early morning trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Chakradhar Adusumilli in Bangalore; Editing by Vikram S Subhedar)

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