Larger than expected fourth-quarter loss for Universal Stainless & Alloy

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Universal Stainless & Alloy Products today reported a larger than expected fourth quarter loss, citing a 17 percent drop in sales and a $1 million tax-related charge.

The Bridgeville specialty steel producer said it lost $2.9 million, or 41 cents per share, on sales of $40.3 million. In the year-ago quarter, the company earned $1.1 million, or 16 cents per share, on sales of $47.2 million.

The tax-related charge reduced quarterly results by 14 cents per share.

Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast a loss of 17 cents per share and sales of $45.6 million.

Chairman, President and CEO Dennis Oates said the company’s order backlog increased 17 percent from the third quarter. The pickup “supports a more positive view about the current year, especially the second half,” he said in a statement released by the company.

For all of 2013, Universal Stainless lost $4.1 million, or 58 cents per share, vs. earnings of $14.6 million, or $2.02 per share, in 2012. Sales fell 28 percent to $180.8 million.

The results were announced before Wall Street opened. Universal Stainless shares finished Tuesday at $32.09, up 49 cents.

Len Boselovic: or 412-263-1941.

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