TORONTO, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Russel Metals RUS.TO reported a profit for the fourth quarter on Thursday on strong sales and rising steel prices after posting a loss for the year-before quarter.
The metals distribution company earned C$17.9 million ($18.2 million), or 30 Canadian cents a share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31. That compared with a loss of C$25.2 million, or 42 Canadian cents a share, a year earlier.
Analysts, on average, had expected earnings of 28 Canadian cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue rose to C$561.5 million from C$432.7 million in the same quarter of 2009.
Russel Metals is a metal distribution and processing company. It sells steel and steel products, and produces specialized steel tubing for the energy sector.
$1=$0.98 Canadian Reporting by Julie Gordon; editing by Peter Galloway