Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. predicts 4Q profits above expectations

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. on Wednesday gave 4Q projects well above what Wall Street forecasters predicted. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect Reliance Steel to post income of 38 cents per share in the fourth quarter and $1.14 per share for the year. Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. expects earnings between 95 cents to $1.05 per share in the fourth quarter and $1.71 to $1.81 per share for 2009. The company attributes demand and pricing were better than expected for the quarter. 

Reliance Steel also announced fourth-quarter revenue of about $1.3 billion and 2009 revenue of $5.3 billion. Analysts estimated revenue of $1.22 billion in the fourth quarter and $5.27 billion for the year.

Reliance Steel is scheduled to release its quarterly and annual results on Feb. 18. Its shares rose $1.10, or 2.4 percent, to $46.51 in midday trading.

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