United States Steel Corporation Begins New Year As Independent Company With a Century of Experience
United States Steel Corporation (NYSE: X), the country's largest integrated steelmaker, today began trading on the New York Stock Exchange as an independent company following its spin-off from USX Corporation at the end of 2001.
While the company is a new legal entity, it has more than a century of experience in the steel industry. The original United States Steel Corporation was formed by legendary banker J. P. Morgan in 1901 when he consolidated the American steel industry around Andrew Carnegie's steel company. U. S. Steel was capitalized at more than $1 billion and, at the time, was the world's largest corporation.
Employees of the new United States Steel Corporation were welcomed today with a series of communications, including a personal letter mailed to their homes, from Thomas J. Usher, chairman, CEO and president of U. S. Steel.
In his messages, Usher thanked employees for their strong performance over the past year. "Our key performance indicators have been very good, and the close attention you pay to our customers' needs is reflected in our market performance," he said. "Your ability to remain focused on the tasks at hand is evident, and I appreciate your dedication and sense of purpose." Usher recognized the frustration employees must feel when their hard work is not immediately reflected in the company's financial results.
Usher also articulated a new Vision for U. S. Steel. "U. S. Steel will strive to be the best in the world at Making Steel -- our core competency for 101 years and a vital business in which we are proud to be engaged," he said. "U. S. Steel must be 100 percent focused on being a World Competitive company capable of meeting any competitor head-on in the markets we choose to be in. And, the company's decisions and actions will be driven by our ongoing commitment to Building Value for all of our stakeholders -- including shareholders, employees, customers, creditors, suppliers, and the communities in which we operate."
Regarding the future, Usher said to employees, "I hope you will share my optimism for the future of U. S. Steel. Today, we have the ability to focus more keenly on making steel, and we have gained a new agility, which will enable us to be more responsive and opportunistic during this dynamic period of change in our industry. Out of that change and accompanying consolidation will emerge many opportunities, which we will be well-positioned to capitalize upon. This is an exciting period in our history, and -- with your help and hard work -- I fully expect U. S. Steel to emerge as a much stronger company."
In a press release issued in December, U. S. Steel announced its willingness to participate in consolidating the ailing U.S. integrated steel industry, a stated goal of the Bush Administration, and outlined the conditions necessary for a consolidation to take place. Among those conditions are: the implementation of President Bush's three-part program to address the excessive imports of steel that have been depressing U.S. markets, including a strong remedy under Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974; the creation of a government-sponsored program that would provide relief from the industry's retiree legacy cost burden; and a progressive new labor agreement that would provide for meaningful reductions in operating costs.
"U. S. Steel believes that consolidation of the industry under the right circumstances will be a positive step toward restoring the health of this vital part of the American economy. We are willing to participate in such a process, but only to the extent that it is beneficial to U. S. Steel's customers, shareholders, creditors and employees," said Usher.
He noted that U. S. Steel is a strong enterprise with the flexibility and resources to continue to pursue its business strategy while considering consolidation opportunities in the integrated steel industry.
Integrated steel companies -- unlike mini-mills which primarily melt and reprocess scrap steel made by others -- make steel from iron ore, most of which comes from mines in northern Minnesota. Because they use pure liquid iron (80 percent pure iron to 20 percent scrap), integrated steel companies can make the high quality, value-added steel prized by appliance manufacturers, automakers and other industries.
United States Steel Corporation is a leader in new product development and the creation of stronger, lighter and more formable steels for automobiles and other applications. The company recently introduced a new line of dual-phase steels that will help automakers design the next generation of affordable, safe, lightweight and fuel-efficient automobiles.
U. S. Steel has steelmaking operations in Gary, Ind., Birmingham, Ala., Pittsburgh, Pa., and Kosice, Slovakia, with a combined annual raw steel capability of 17.8 million net tons. The company also has taconite (iron) ore operations in Mountain Iron, Minn.; coal mining operations in West Virginia and Alabama; coke making operations in Gary, Pittsburgh and Kosice; and interests in finishing operations and joint ventures in several other states and countries. U. S. Steel also engages in real estate and consulting activities. The company employs about 35,600 people -- 19,400 in the United States and 16,200 in Slovakia.
The foregoing contains "forward-looking statements." Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which are not a guarantee of performance and are subject to a number of uncertainties and other facts, many of which are outside United States Steel Corporation's control, that could cause actual events to differ materially from such statements. For a more detailed description of the factors that could cause such a difference, please see USX Corporation's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
(For more information on U. S. Steel, visit our Website at http://www.ussteel.com/.)
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SOURCE: United States Steel Corporation
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