U.S. Steel sees large net loss, idles blast furnace at Mon Valley Works

PITTSBURGH — United States Steel Corp. (NYSE: X) reported a net loss of $391 million in the first quarter of 2020 and idled a blast furnace at Mon Valley Works, making it the next in a long list of Pittsburgh companies reporting financial results negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a news release.

That number compares to U.S. Steel’s net earnings of $54 million in the first quarter of 2019.

“Market activity was beginning to improve prior to the emergence of Covid-19 and the sudden changes in global oil and gas markets,” U.S. Steel President and CEO David Burritt said in a prepared statement. “As the impacts from these unprecedented market dynamics became apparent, we adjusted our footprint, fortified our balance sheet and aggressively cut costs.”

In an 8-K filing, the company stated that it has issued or plans to issue WARN notices for layoffs for about 6,500 employees, but that it anticipates the actual number of employees affected to be closer to 2,700. Of that number, about 850 layoffs were previously announced due to idling at U.S. Steel’s Lorain, Ohio and Lone Star, Texas plants and another 550 were previously announced due to idling at its Keetac, Minnesota plant.

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