On Friday, world's largest steelmaker ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT) announced that in accordance with the results of its annual "goodwill impairment test," it expects to take a $4.3 billion goodwill writedown on its European businesses in Q4.
The impairment, a non-cash charge to earnings, is almost certain to result in a quarterly loss for the steelmaker, which has only once in its history (in Q2 of 2008) earned more than $4.3 billion in a single quarter. Arcelor explained the charge by pointing to an 8% decline in "apparent steel demand" in Europe this year, a decline that it says has run to approximately 29% in comparison with 2007 demand.
On a brighter note, Arcelor said that its U.S. operations are performing better, with an aggregate 10% fall in demand since 2007, but an 8% increase in steel demand so far this year.
Shares of ArcelorMittal are down 3.6% on the news at $16.89.
Fool contributor Rich Smith has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of ArcelorMittal. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.