U.S. Steel (NYSE:X) saw a thinner loss in Q4, albeit on a drop in revenue. The company reported that it booked a net shortfall of $50 million ($0.35 per diluted share), an improvement from the $211 million it lost in the same period the previous year. Net sales for this most recent quarter were just under $4.5 billion, down from $4.8 billion in Q4 2011.

The net showing was substantially better than analysts had expected; on average, they were anticipating negative EPS of $0.75.

For fiscal 2012, U.S. Steel's loss actually widened. It was $124 million ($0.86 diluted EPS), versus the $53 million ($0.37 diluted EPS) of 2011. Net sales also declined, to $19.3 billion from $19.9 billion.

The company also declared its first dividend for 2013. It is to pay $0.05 per share on March 8 to shareholders of record as of the end of Feb. 12.

Fool contributor Eric Volkman and The Motley Fool have no position in US Steel. 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.