November 1, 2012
After steel heavyweights like AK Steel (NYSE: AKS ) , Nucor (NYSE: NUE ) , and U.S. Steel (NYSE: X ) each released dour results for the latest quarter, it should have been expected that ArcelorMittal's (NYSE: MT ) results would be less than stellar. Upon release, however, I'm not sure anyone could have expected what it actually reported. I am not sure if there is a single bit of good news for this company regarding its last three months of operations and near-term outlook.
Revenues plunged 19%, only to be outdone by EBITDA, which careened off of a 42% cliff. All of this stemmed from lower worldwide prices, weakened steel demand in Europe and Asia, and a significant drop in the spot price of mined iron ore. So what was the bottom line? A net loss of $709 million for the quarter.
To compensate for this loss and future uncertainty, management has decided to take actions like shuttering plants, trimming planned 2013 capital expenditures, and most dramatic of all, announcing the possibility of a 73% cut to the company's dividend. Shareholders must take note of this release and reconsider their investment thesis for ArcelorMittal. Management sees a bottom in the fourth quarter, but the 5.08% dividend was most certainly an aspect that most investors factored into their choices to purchase shares of this company.