Reliance Steel 2Q Profit Rises, Boosts Dividend

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. said Thursday that its second-quarter profit rose 10 percent, but it cited the weak economy and difficulty in raising prices while giving a disappointing earnings forecast for the third quarter.

The company announced it would raise its quarterly dividend by 67 percent, to 25 cents per share.

The shares rose more than 6 percent in afternoon trading.

Net income rose to $108.8 million, or $1.44 per share, in the three months ended June 30 compared with $98.7 million, or $1.31 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 8 percent to $2.21 billion from $2.05 billion a year earlier.

Analysts expected earnings of $1.41 per share on revenue of $2.24 billion, according to FactSet.

The company predicted third-quarter earnings of $1.15 to $1.25 per share. Analysts were expecting $1.31.

CEO David Hannah said Reliance expected uncertainty about the economy to last through the third quarter, which he said is a weaker period for the company even in normal times. He said it would be difficult to raise prices.

The metal-parts company said strong end markets included oil and gas, aerospace, farm and heavy equipment, and autos.

Its shares rose $2.93, or 6.5 percent, to $47.91 in afternoon trading. They are near the high end of their 52-week range of $31.09 to $58.58.