October 27, 2009 / 12:34 PM / in 8 years

UPDATE 2-U.S. Steel posts loss, but beats Wall St forecast

* Q3 loss $2.43/share v Street view loss $2.87

* Revenue falls 61 pct to $2.8 bln

* Stock up in premarket trading

NEW YORK, Oct 27 (Reuters) - U.S. Steel Corp (X.N) posted a third straight quarterly loss on Tuesday, but it was narrower than Wall Street expected as the company shipped more steel than in the previous quarter in a possible sign demand is coming back from the economic downturn.

The steelmaker said it expected an improvement in the fourth-quarter mainly as a result of increased demand for flat-rolled products in North America, driven primarily by automotive markets. But it said it is still cautious about demand and expects to report another loss in the fourth quarter.

The third-quarter results easily beat expectations and the steekmaker's stock rose 1.4 percent to $41.16 in trading before the New York Stock Exchange opened.

"Shipment volumes and operating rates for all of our reportable segments increased significantly from the very low levels of the second quarter as we brought several idled facilities online to satisfy increased customer order rates," said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Surma.

"Our European and Tubular segments had improved financial performance and our Flat-rolled segment's results were in line with the prior quarter despite the effects of continued low operating rates and facility restart costs."

The third-quarter net loss was $303 million, or $2.11 per share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $919 million, or $7.79 per share, Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel said.

Revenue dropped 61 percent to $2.82 billion, but was 32 percent higher than in the second quarter.

Excluding a one-time currency gain, the loss was $2.43 per share versus the analysts' average forecast for a loss of $2.87 and revenue of $2.717 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. (Reporting by Steve James)

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