November 3, 2009 / 8:25 PM / in 9 years

UPDATE 1-Russel Metals profit falls, but tops estimates

* Q3 adj EPS C$0.24/shr vs estimated C$0.10/shr

* Shares up 1.3 pct at C$15.83 following news

TORONTO, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Russel Metals (RUS.TO) said on Tuesday its net profit dropped 86 percent in the third quarter, but the company’s shares charged higher as the results topped analyst estimates.

The metals producer and distributor earned C$13 million ($12 million), or 21 Canadian cents a share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30. That was down from a year-earlier profit of C$92 million, or C$1.45 a share.

Stripping out inventory writedowns, Russel earned 24 Canadian cents a share, well ahead of the profit of 10 Canadian cents a share expected by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S had expected.

Russel’s stock spiked as much as 4.7 percent on the news, and was up 21 Canadian cents, or 1.3 percent, at C$15.83 late in the session on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Quarterly revenue fell 55 percent to C$434 million, hurt be weaker sales in all three operating segments — metals service, energy tubular products, and steel distribution.

Toronto-based Russel has been hit hard this year by plunging demand for steel products and weaker prices due to the economic downturn.

$1=$1.07 Canadian Reporting by Cameron French; editing by Rob Wilson

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