What happened

Shares of U.S. Steel (NYSE:X) stock are down 10% as of 3:20 p.m. Wednesday after the metal manufacturer forecast a second-quarter 2020 loss that was steeper than what Wall Street had expected.

After reporting a $2.30 per share loss on $2.7 billion in revenues in the first quarter, analysts were looking for U.S. Steel to lose another $1.75 per share (pro forma) on sales of just over $2 billion in Q2.  

Glowing red stock chart arrow trending down

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Instead, U.S. Steel's latest guidance, released this morning, is guiding investors to expect losses as high as $3.06 per share, and that number doesn't seem to appear to include an expected $100 million worth of "estimated restructuring and other charges."  

In other words, the company's GAAP loss could be even bigger.

Now what

U.S. Steel explained its dour forecast by pointing out: "As expected, the second quarter is being significantly impacted by the effects of COVID-19 and the expected nonrecurring costs associated with a significant portion of our steelmaking operations being idled in the quarter."

If there's good news to report, though, it's that management thinks "the second quarter [will] mark the trough for the year." CEO David Burritt confided that his "optimism continues to grow as OEM restarts are progressing well and customer demand has started to return."

For the record, though, few on Wall Street expect this to be a good year for USX. On average, analysts forecast a $5.04 per share loss as the recession takes its toll on America's best-known steelmaker.

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