Tuesday, October 27, 2009

US Steel & Voluntary Payments for Health Care/Pensions

United States Steel (X) continued to lose money, disappointed the market and watched investors sell off its stock. This is despite a 42% increase in shipments. If shipments can go up so drastically this means there is no pricing power and you wonder if re-starting several idled facilities was the correct move.

In this confused outlook investors are noting a voluntary payment of approximately $150 million to knock down employee health care and pension benefits. That’s approximately $1 @ share. Pretty sporty of management to do that at this juncture. The question is why. By re-opening facilities have they made a side deal with unions? What would the real reason for a voluntary $150 million payment be?