What: Shares of ArcelorMittal (NYSE: MT) slumped as much as 10% by 3:15 p.m. EST on Friday after the company reported a weak fourth quarter. In addition, the company also issued tepid guidance for 2016 and reportedly plans to raise more than $3 billion in capital to shore up its balance sheet.
So what: ArcelorMittal reported a loss of $5.3 billion for the quarter, though $4.7 billion of that loss was due to an impairment charge primarily relating to the company's mining operations. Adjusting for that charge, the company still lost $400 million, which was more than the $20 million it lost last quarter.
Falling steel prices were the primary weight on earnings, which the company attributed to a surge in Chinese exports. That's something both US Steel (NYSE:X) and TimkenSteel (NYSE:TMST) complained about in their recent earnings reports. US Steel noted in its report that its flat-rolled segment in particular was hurt by a decrease in average realized prices, which it believes was due to dumped or subsidized imported products on the domestic market. TimkenSteel, likewise, noted that pricing pressure on imports was hurting its business.
That pricing pressure as well as lackluster demand caused both US Steel and TimkenSteel to issue weak 2016 guidance, and ArcelorMittal doesn't see things any differently. The company's own guidance for 2016 calls for its EBITDA to fall to $4.5 billion, which is below the $5.2 billion in EBITDA it generated in 2015.
Because of these tough operating conditions, as well as the fact that the company has $15 billion in bond repayments over the next six years, ArcelorMittal reportedly is planning to raise more than $3 billion in capital. That stock sale could be announced as early as next week, according to reports.
Now what: Times are tough in the steel industry right now, and aren't showing any signs of improving. That's expected to lead to weaker earnings for steelmakers in 2016, which will likely continue to put pressure on their stock prices.
Matt DiLallo has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not 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.