U.S. Steel Corp.’s stock plunged on heavy volume Wednesday to its biggest one-day decline since it went public 26 years ago after the steelmaker stunned investors by reporting a large first-quarter loss.
The company reported late Tuesday a first-quarter adjusted per-share loss of 83 cents, roughly just one-third the loss it suffered a year ago, but analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting an adjusted profit of 35 cents. U.S. Steel also halved its 2017 profit outlook.
The stock X, -0.47% tumbled 27% to $22.78, enough to make it the biggest percentage decliner listed on the New York Stock Exchange. It was the most actively traded on the major U.S. exchanges, with volume spiking to 101 million shares, which was more than five-time the full-day average of about 19 million shares.
The previous biggest one-day decline was 18% on Oct. 15, 2008, in the midst of the Great Recession. In the company’s current form, the stock began trading on April 12, 1991. It has closed as high as $191.96 on June 25, 2008, and as low as $6.67 on Jan. 27, 2016.
The stock closed at the lowest level seen since the Nov. 8 election. At one point, the stock had nearly doubled after the election to a 2 1/2-year closing high of $41.57 on Feb. 21, amid optimism over President Donald Trump’s tough talk on trade and promises to boost infrastructure spending.