DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
Allegheny Technologies Inc.'s (ATI) fourth-quarter profit dropped by two-thirds as the metals processor's sales declined, but results still beat analysts' forecasts.
"The fourth quarter was by far our best quarter in 2009 as we began to see signs of stabilization and cyclical recovery in many of our markets," said Chief Executive L. Patrick Hassey. "ATI's fourth-quarter performance benefited from better volume, pricing and mix for certain products, lower raw materials costs, and improvements to our cost structure."
For 2010, Hassey said the company expects to see "gradual and steady improvements in most of our global markets" and targeted at least $100 million of new cost reductions.
Allegheny last month had boosted its fourth-quarter profit estimate, citing benefits from better volume and pricing, as well as lower raw material costs and improved cost structure.
The company reported a profit of $37.8 million, or 36 cents a share, down from $110.9 million, or $1.15 a share, a year earlier. Sales fell 27% to $815.7 million.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of 22 cents a share on sales of $800 million.
Gross margin fell to 19.4% from 20%.
Allegheny said it had cut costs totaling $173 million for 2009, exceeding its goal of $150 million.
-By Yogita Patel and Nathan Becker, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2262; firstname.lastname@example.org