Metals service center Ryerson Inc., Chicago, IL, reported sales of $1.5 billion in the third quarter 2006, up 8.6% from the prior-year period. Profit was $21.6 million, compared with $30.7 million last year.
"Market demand remained solid and prices continued to rise, especially in stainless," said Neil S. Novich, chairman, president, and CEO of Ryerson. "Our price administration in the quarter was good, as we successfully passed through rising metals costs. ... However, inventory management was unsatisfactory and our level is too high relative to market demand."
Sequentially, tons shipped declined 4.8% on a per-day basis, largely reflecting normal seasonal slowness, while the average selling price per ton increased 8.7% from the second quarter of 2006. Year-over-year, tons shipped declined 5.4% on a per-day basis, while the average selling price per ton increased 16.6%.
Outlook "During the fourth quarter, we expect typical seasonal slowness to be exacerbated by high inventories throughout the supply chain," Novich said. "Although we see some softness in certain markets, we remain optimistic going into 2007, with an expectation that the economy will continue to expand at a moderate pace."
Ryerson Inc. is a distributor and processor of metals in North America, with 2005 revenues of $5.8 billion. The company services customers through a network of service centers across the United States and in Canada, Mexico, China and India.