UPDATE 2-Brazil's Usiminas misses on profit, gives bleak outlook
(Adds share price, analyst and executive comments)
By Stephen Eisenhammer
RIO DE JANEIRO, July 24 (Reuters) - Brazilian steelmaker Usiminas reported lower-than-expected quarterly profit and gave a bleak outlook for the year as iron ore prices fell and flat steel demand faltered.
Usinas Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais SA, as the company is officially known, said on a conference call that it did not expect steel sales to improve in the third quarter as demand in Brazil continues to waver.
"2014 is a year full of uncertainty," Commercial Vice President Sergio Leite said, adding that the extent of the slump in Brazil's automotive sector was "something we haven't seen for a long time."
The company posted second-quarter net income of 129 million reais ($58.1 million).
The profit was an improvement from a year-earlier net loss of 22 million reais, but was down 42 percent from the prior quarter and came in 9.8 percent below the average estimate in a Reuters poll of analysts.
The company's shares fell as much as 3.2 percent as analysts focused on the poor performance of Usiminas' mining division.
The division's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization fell 62 percent from the first quarter, as iron ore prices hit 22-month lows. Continuación...