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ArcelorMittal Q4 Profit Rises; Announces Share Buyback Program - Quick Facts

ArcelorMittal (MT) on Thursday reported that its fourth-quarter net income attributable to equity holders of the parent rose to $1.19 billion or $1.18 per share from $1.04 billion or $1.02 per share in the previous-year quarter.

ArcelorMittal recorded an income tax benefit of $711 million for the latest quarter, benefit of $119 million in the prior-year period.

Operating income declined to $1.04 billion from $1.23 billion in the year-ago period. Operating results for both quarters were impacted by impairment charges net of purchase gains and exceptional charges.

Sales for the quarter rose 3.5 percent to $18.33 billion from $17.71 billion a year ago, primarily due to higher average steel selling prices and higher market-priced iron ore shipments, offset in part by lower steel shipments.

Fourth-quarter crude steel production was 22.8 Mt, stable with 22.7 Mt in the prior-year period. Total steel shipments were 20.2 Mt, 3.6 percent lower as compared with 21.0 Mt last year.

Looking ahead to fiscal 2019, AcelorMittal expects global steel demand to slightly expand as compared to fiscal 2018. Steel shipments are expected to increase, supported by improved operational performance.

The company said it expects certain cash needs of the business - including capex, interest, cash taxes, pensions and certain other cash costs but excluding working capital changes - to increase in 2019 to approximately $6.4 billion from $5.0 billion in 2018.

The company also expects full-year capex to increase to $4.3 billion from $3.3 billion in fiscal 2018, including $0.4 billion carried over from 2018, the impact of Ilva, and the continued investment in high returns projects in Mexico and Brazil.

In addition, ArcelorMittal announced a share buyback program under the authorization given by the annual general meeting or AGM of shareholders held on May 5, 2015. The company noted that shares acquired under the program are intended to meet its obligations arising from employee share programs.

Between 11 February 2019 and 31 December 2019, ArcelorMittal intends to repurchase up to 4 million shares for an aggregate maximum amount of $113.42 million in accordance with the AGM Authorization and applicable market abuse regulations.

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