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USX 3Q Earnings Down 62 Percent

October 22, 1998

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ USX Corp.’s profits fell 62 percent in the third quarter due as a surge of cheap imports hurt its steel business and lower oil crude prices hurt its petroleum operations.

USX earned $116 million on sales of $7.16 billion compared to income of $307 million on sales of $5.66 billion in the year-ago period.

Marathon Group, the petroleum subsidiary, reported net income was down 73 percent, and the USX-U.S. Steel Group said net income was down 44 percent.

USX chairman Thomas Usher said production increases, due in part to the purchase in August of Tarragon Oil and Gas Ltd. of Canada, were more than offset by declines in domestic prices for natural gas and worldwide prices for petroleum.

Marathon earned $51 million in the third quarter, or 17 cents a diluted share, compared to $192 million, or 66 cents a share, last year. Revenues were $5.66 billion, up 44 percent from $3.94 billion.

After adjusting for special items, its profit was $70 million, or 24 cents per diluted share, down 58 percent from the year-ago period, when adjusted profits reached $166 million, or 57 cents per diluted share.

Marathon’s shares were down 6 1/4 cents at $32.37 1/2 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

For the nine months ended Sept. 30, net income was $396 million, or $1.36 a share, compared to $418 million, or $1.44 a share, compared to the year-ago period.

At U.S. Steel Group, a surge in steel imports, a weak market for tubing and the effects of the General Motors strike were blamed for the drop in profits.

U.S. Steel’s income was $65 million, or 71 cents a diluted share, compared to $116 million, or $1.25 a share, last year. Revenues were $1.5 billion, down 14 percent from $1.74 billion.

After adjusting for special items, the steel group’s profit was $58 million, or 63 cents per diluted share, when adjusted profits totaled $100 million, or $1.08 cents per diluted share.

U.S. Steel’s shares were off 43 3/4 cents at $23.50 in trading on the NYSE.

For the nine months ended Sept. 30, U.S. Steel reported profits of $288 million, or $3.11 a diluted share, compared to $300 million, or $3.24 a share, in the year-ago period.

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