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USX Corporation Reports 2000 Fourth Quarter And Full-Year U. S. Steel Group Results


USX-U. S. Steel Group (NYSE: X) today released the following:

                             Earnings Highlights
                 (Dollars in millions except per share data)

                                        4Q        4Q
                                      2000      1999        2000     1999

  Net income adjusted for special    $(57)       $39         $77      $83
   items - per diluted share        $(.67)      $.42        $.78     $.84
  Net income                        $(139)       $34       $(21)      $44
  Net income per diluted share     $(1.59)      $.35      $(.33)     $.40

  Revenues and Other Income         $1,413    $1,500      $6,132   $5,470

USX-U. S. Steel Group (NYSE: X) reported a fourth quarter 2000 adjusted net loss of $57 million, or 67 cents per diluted share, compared with net income of $39 million, or 42 cents per diluted share in fourth quarter 1999. Revenues were $1.4 billion in fourth quarter 2000, compared with $1.5 billion in the same period of 1999.

U. S. Steel Group recorded a fourth quarter 2000 net loss of $139 million, or $1.59 per diluted share, which included an after-tax total of $82 million for unfavorable special items. These items included $46 million for asset impairments at two coal mines, $22 million to establish a reserve against notes and receivables from financially distressed steel companies, and $14 million for environmental accruals. The fourth quarter 2000 net loss reflects an unusually high state tax provision because it was determined that certain previously recorded state tax benefits can no longer be utilized.

Fourth quarter 1999 net income of $34 million, or 35 cents per diluted share, included special items, which had a net unfavorable after-tax effect of $5 million.

In the fourth quarter 2000, U. S. Steel Group's Domestic Steel segment recorded a loss from operations of $122 million, including pre-tax charges of $55 million for reserves against notes and receivables, and environmental accruals, resulting in an adjusted loss of $29 per ton. U. S. Steel Kosice s.r.o. (USSK), the Slovak Republic steel operation, reported fourth quarter 2000 segment income of $2 million, or $6 per ton, following its acquisition by USX on November 24, 2000.

Fourth quarter 1999 segment income for Domestic Steel was $48 million, or $17 per ton, which included unfavorable special items totaling $7 million pre-tax.

Fourth quarter 2000 results were negatively impacted by significantly reduced shipment levels and prices, inefficient operating rates due to lower volumes, higher energy costs and severely limited coal mining operations due to adverse geological conditions at two mines. Tubular shipments and prices continued to benefit from strong energy markets.

Total shipments for Domestic Steel in fourth quarter 2000 were 2.3 million net tons, down 19 percent from fourth quarter 1999 shipments of 2.9 million net tons and the lowest level since the first quarter 1993. Total shipments for USSK in the 38 days of operation under USX ownership in the fourth quarter 2000 were 317 thousand net tons.

Domestic raw steel capability utilization in the fourth quarter of 2000 was 75 percent, down from 97 percent in fourth quarter 1999. USSK raw steel capability utilization in the period following the November 24, 2000 acquisition was 80 percent.

For the year 2000, U. S. Steel Group net income adjusted for special items was $77 million, or 78 cents per diluted share, compared with $83 million, or 84 cents per diluted share in 1999. Revenues in 2000 were $6.1 billion, compared with $5.5 billion in 1999.

For the year 2000, the U. S. Steel Group recorded a net loss of $21 million, or 33 cents per diluted share, which included special items with a net unfavorable after-tax effect of $98 million or $1.11 per diluted share. In addition to those items mentioned for the fourth quarter 2000, special items also included other environmental and legal accruals and USX's share of restructuring and impairment charges at Republic Technologies International, LLC (Republic).

For the year 1999, U. S. Steel Group recorded net income of $44 million, or 40 cents per diluted share, which included special items having a net unfavorable after-tax effect of $39 million, or 44 cents per share.

Segment income in 2000 for Domestic Steel was $23 million, or $2 per ton, on shipments of 10.8 million net tons, which included unfavorable pre-tax special items totaling $151 million, or $14 per ton. Segment income in 1999 for Domestic Steel was $91 million, or $9 per ton, on shipments of 10.6 million net tons. These 1999 results included $24 million, or $2 per ton, of unfavorable pre-tax special items. Domestic raw steel capability utilization in 2000 was 89 percent, down from 94 percent in 1999.

The decrease in the Domestic Steel segment income was the result of lower sheet product shipment volumes, higher costs due to lower throughput, higher energy prices and problems in coal operations.

Commenting on these results, Thomas J. Usher, USX Corporation Board Chairman, said, "The U. S. Steel Group's results for the fourth quarter were disappointing. The devastating combination of continued high steel import levels and a slowing domestic economy resulted in significantly reduced order levels, operating rates and shipments and sheet prices that were among the lowest in the past twenty years. The increasing list of steel bankruptcy filings and reports of tight liquidity among other steel competitors demonstrate the severity of the steel crisis in this country."

Usher added, "Import levels in 2000 approached the record levels of 1998. Due to the latest surge in imports, fourth quarter 2000 domestic raw steel production declined 23 percent from the prior year's fourth quarter, necessitating layoffs and idling of production facilities at a number of locations."

Responding to the latest import crisis, U. S. Steel participated in November with an industry group in filing trade cases against dumped and subsidized imports of hot-rolled carbon steel from 11 countries. In late December, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a unanimous preliminary determination that there is a reasonable indication that these imports were materially injuring the domestic industry. This preliminary determination is subject to further investigation and review by the ITC and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Regarding the coal mining problems, adverse geological conditions were encountered during the fourth quarter at U. S. Steel Mining's coal mines in Alabama and West Virginia. As a result, "force majeure" provisions in coal supply contracts were exercised and, following a reassessment of long-term prospects, asset impairments for both mines were recorded.

U. S. Steel's purchase of LTV Corporation's tin mill products business has been delayed as a result of LTV's filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in late December. Assuming the bankruptcy court approves this non-cash transaction, an orderly transition in ownership is expected.

Looking ahead, Usher noted, "The USSK acquisition is a major step in our globalization strategy. Many of our American customers are moving abroad, and a number of them have already located facilities in Central Europe where demand for consumer goods is increasing. Through USSK, we are now strategically positioned to service the growing needs of these and other customers in this region."

In addition, Usher said, "Entering 2001, the outlook is far from promising, especially for the first quarter. Although we anticipate that first quarter domestic shipments will be somewhat better than fourth quarter levels, we expect that sheet and plate pricing, which declined markedly in the fourth quarter, will continue to be depressed. Steel imports are continuing at high levels across all product lines. Domestically, our order book continues to be weak, the economy continues to soften and natural gas prices remain extraordinarily high. We are optimistic, however, that USSK should have a favorable impact on our 2001 results. Our tubular business is strong and, as excess inventory levels for other products are drawn down, we expect to see improvements in both shipments and prices as the year progresses."

For the full year 2001, domestic shipments are expected to be approximately 11 million net tons, excluding any shipments from the potential acquisition of LTV Tin. USSK shipments for the full year 2001 are expected to be approximately 3.3 million to 3.6 million net tons.

This release contains forward-looking statements with respect to shipments, prices, the impact of USSK and the acquisition of LTV Corporation's tin operations. Some factors, among others, that could affect first quarter and full year 2001 shipments and prices include import levels, customer inventory levels and U.S. economic performance. Some factors, among others, that could affect full year 2001 shipments and the overall impact from USSK may be unfavorable European economic conditions and currency exchange rate fluctuations. One factor which could affect the acquisition of LTV Corporation's tin operations is bankruptcy court approval. In accordance with "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, USX has included in Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1999, and subsequent Form 10-Q's and Form 8-K's, cautionary statements identifying important factors, but not necessarily all factors, that could cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

A Statement of Operations and Preliminary Supplemental Statistics for the U. S. Steel Group and a Consolidated Statement of Operations for USX Corporation are attached.

The company will conduct a conference call on fourth quarter and year-end 2000 earnings on Wednesday, January 24 at 1 p.m. EST. To listen to the webcast of the conference call, visit the USX website, and click on the "U. S. Steel Group" button, then the "Investor Services" button. Replays of the webcast will be available through February 1.

For more information on USX Corporation and U. S. Steel Group, visit our websites at or .

USX Corporation press releases are available through Company News On-Call by fax, 800-758-5804, ext. 929150, or at .


SOURCE: USX Corporation

Contact: William E. Keslar, or Don H. Herring, both of USX Corporation,


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