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Allegheny Technologies' 4Q profit, sales fall

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Allegheny Technologies Inc.'s fourth-quarter profit fell by 67 percent as the weak global economy and customers' conservative management of their inventories hurt sales.

The earnings, released Wednesday, still beat analysts' expectations, although sales fell short of forecasts.

The metals producer blamed cautious fourth-quarter orders on customers' uncertainty over the U.S. "fiscal cliff" and the economy in Europe, Japan and to a lesser degree, China.

Allegheny said the first quarter and maybe the entire first half of 2013 would likely be challenging, but it was cautiously optimistic about 2013 despite uncertainty over the economy and U.S. government spending policy. The company makes metal products for industries including aerospace, defense and energy.

Fourth-quarter net income was $10.5 million, or 10 cents per share, compared with $31.7 million, or 29 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding a charge for write-downs for closing casting plants, the company said it would have earned 18 cents per share. Analysts, who usually exclude charges, had expected 14 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue fell 12 percent to $1.10 billion. Analysts expected $1.18 billion.

The shares rose 33 cents to $30.90 in morning trading.