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BETHLEHEM STEEL REPORTS RESULTS FOR FIRST QUARTER 1992

 BETHLEHEM STEEL REPORTS RESULTS FOR FIRST QUARTER 1992
 BETHLEHEM, Pa., April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Bethlehem Steel Corporation (NYSE: BUSINESS) announced today it had a net loss of $45 million for the first quarter of 1992 compared to a net loss of $39 million for the first quarter of 1991.
 Although Bethlehem's steel shipments were significantly higher in the first quarter of 1992 than in the first quarter of 1991, realized steel prices were lower than those realized in the year earlier period, offsetting the benefit from higher volume. Results for the first quarter of 1992 reflect higher employment costs under the labor agreement with the United Steelworkers of America (USW) and increased net financing expense associated with additional borrowings and reduced interest income. Results of operations of the Bar, Rod & Wire Division and trackwork fabrication operations are not included in 1992 results in view of the announced decision in January 1992 to exit those businesses.
 SEGMENT RESULTS
 Basic Steel Operations: This segment had losses from operations of $22 million for the first quarter of 1992 compared to $26 million for the first quarter of 1991. The intensely competitive steel market conditions experienced during 1991 continued during the first quarter of 1992, and average realized prices remained at the extremely low levels of the fourth quarter of 1991. However, steel shipments increased during the first quarter following completion of a blast furnace reline at the Burns Harbor plant in the fourth quarter of 1991.
 Employment costs increased, effective Jan. 1, 1992, under the labor agreement with the USW. In addition, the company continues to incur costs associated with the start-up of the newly modernized hot strip mill at the Sparrows Point plant which is expected to reach full production later in the year. However, with the suspension of coke making at Sparrows Point, Bethlehem Steel is no longer incurring higher costs for coke oven repairs.
 The Rail Products and Pipe Division and the Structural Products Division continue to be subject to intense competitive pressures. In January 1992, the company announced it is considering a modernization program for the rail production facilities of the Rail Products and Pipe Division, pending the completion of a facility study currently under way, and is re-evaluating various alternatives for the Structural Products Division, including a possible modernization program. Obtaining competitive employment costs is a condition for any potential modernization at either Division.
 Steel Related Operations: This segment had losses from operations of $8 million for the first quarter of 1992 compared to $7 million for the first quarter of 1991. The first quarter 1991 losses include operating profits of the former Freight Car Division, which was sold in October 1991. The BethShip Division had improved results during the first quarter of 1992 as work proceeded on a tunnel fabrication contract. Losses increased at the BethForge Division primarily due to the weak nuclear forgings market.
 LIQUIDITY:
 Cash and cash equivalents were $126 million at March 31, 1992, compared to $84 million at Dec. 31, 1991. Although inventories were substantially reduced during the first quarter of 1992, accounts receivable were higher because of increased shipments.
 Bethlehem Steel said it currently plans to generate about $200 million from asset sales in 1992, principally from the sale of most of its coal operations and the related coal reserve properties. It is premature to estimate the timing or amount of potential proceeds from the sale of the Bar, Rod and Wire Division, trackwork fabrication operations or the Lackawanna coke-making operations.
 Capital expenditures were $89 million during the first quarter of 1992. The company currently estimates that 1992 capital expenditures will be approximately $375 million compared to $564 million during 1991.
 During the first quarter of 1992, Bethlehem Steel borrowed $38 million under its $270 million loan agreement to fund construction of the two hot-dip galvanizing lines being built at its Sparrows Point and Burns Harbor plants. The Sparrows Point line is scheduled for completion during the second half of 1992, and the Burns Harbor line is scheduled for completion in early 1993.
 Total borrowings under the 1987 and 1990 revolving credit agreements and certain other credit arrangements increased by $121 million during the first quarter. At March 31, 1992, the $100 million 1990 credit agreement was fully borrowed and $289 million was available for borrowing under the 1987 credit agreement. On March 15, 1992, the maximum loan amount under the 1987 credit agreement was reduced from $500 million to $469 million and will continue to be reduced by approximately $31 million on a quarterly basis over a four-year period. In addition, the maximum loan amount under the 1990 revolving credit agreement will be reduced from $100 million to $75 million on Sept. 28, 1992, and the agreement is scheduled to expire on Sept. 28, 1993. Bethlehem Steel said it plans to negotiate a new revolving credit agreement in 1992 to replace the 1987 credit agreement.
 During the first quarter of 1992, the company repaid about $43 million of debt and capital lease obligations. In addition to planned capital expenditures and contributions to its pension funds, major uses of cash during the remainder of 1992 include the repayment of approximately $60 million of debt and capital lease obligations. The company expects to maintain an adequate level of liquidity throughout 1992.
 TRADE MATTERS:
 Voluntary Restraint Arrangements covering 28 foreign countries which limited steel imports into the U.S. market expired on March 31, 1992, and government negotiations with 36 countries to achieve a global Multilateral Steel Agreement (MSA) have been suspended. Bethlehem Steel said it supports an effective MSA, which would reduce subsidies and other unfair trade practices by foreign producers that have distorted steel trade, and regret that it has not been achieved at this time. The company said it will continue to urge the federal government to resume negotiations and complete such an agreement, as the volume of unfairly traded steel imports entering the U.S. market is causing injury to Bethlehem and the domestic industry. The company has already filed an unfair trade case on certain bar products, and will continue to use all appropriate remedies to deal with unfair steel trade, including the filing of trade cases for other products. In that regard, Bethlehem Steel said, it is imperative that the administration vigorously enforce our trade laws and hold firm to its commitment to preserve effective U.S. trade laws in future negotiations.
 OUTLOOK:
 While there are some encouraging signs of recovery in the economy, steel demand continues at less than satisfactory levels in the company's major consuming markets, and it expects to report a net loss for the second quarter.
 For the balance of 1992, a spokesman said, "We anticipate only a moderate improvement in steel demand and expect that it will lag the recovery of the overall economy. We continue to forecast that 1992 domestic industry shipments will be about 80 million tons, essentially the same as the 79 million tons shipped in 1991. Due to the forecast for a sluggish recovery and the evolving steel trade situation, a return to profitability later in the year is currently uncertain. However, we are aggressively implementing our previously announced plans to reduce costs and believe that Bethlehem is well positioned to take advantage of future market opportunities and improvements in steel market conditions when they occur."
 BETHLEHEM STEEL CORPORATION
 Consolidated Statements of Income
 (dollars in millions, except per share data)
 (Unaudited)
 Three months ended March 31 1992 1991
 NET SALES $995.4 $1,055.6
 Costs and Expenses:
 Cost of Sales 918.3 990.1
 Depreciation 67.4 58.3
 Selling, administrative
 and general expense 39.8 40.5
 TOTAL COSTS AND EXPENSES 1,025.5 1,088.9
 Loss from Operations (30.1) (33.3)
 Financing Income (Expense):
 Interest and other financing costs (15.8) (9.8)
 Interest and other income 1.3 4.4
 LOSS BEFORE INCOME TAXES (44.6) (38.7)
 Provision for Income Taxes -- 0.5
 NET LOSS (44.6) (39.2)
 Dividend Requirements for
 Preferred and Preference Stock 6.1 6.1
 NET LOSS APPLICABLE TO COMMON STOCK (50.7) (45.3)
 Loss Per Common Share $(.66) $(.60)
 Average shares outstanding (thousands) 76,462 75,903
 Production Data:
 Steel products shipped
 (thousands of net tons) 2,346 2,004
 Raw steel produced
 (thousands of net tons) 2,800 2,660
 Utilization of production capability
 (percent) 70 67
 /delval/
 -0- 4/28/92
 /CONTACT: Henry Von Spreckelsen of Bethlehem Steel, 215-694-3711/
 (BS) CO: Bethlehem Steel Corporation ST: Pennsylvania IN: MNG SU: ERN


LJ -- PH015 -- 3721 04/28/92 11:23 EDT
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Date:Apr 28, 1992
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