* Q1 loss/shr $0.28 vs EPS $0.49 yr-ago
* Q1 rev fell 39 pct to $1.45 bln
* Sees Q2 similar to Q1
* Shares down 6 pct before the bell
Dec 22 - Commercial Metals Co (CMC.N) posted a first-quarter loss, hurt by lower steel demand and prices at its Americas fabrication and distribution segment, and expects the second quarter to be in line with the current quarter's results.
Our end-use markets ranged from weak to improving. We believe the worst of the economic crisis is behind us, yet the prospects for better days will be delayed by the traditionally weak winter season encompassing our second quarter, Chief Executive Murray McClean said in a statement.
In 2010, the CEO expects China to be the catalyst with anticipated GDP growth between 9 percent to 10 percent and greater steel demand than in 2009.
In the latest quarter ended Nov. 30, the steel and metal products maker posted a net loss of $31.2 million, or 28 cents a share, compared with earnings of $62 million, or 49 cents a share, a year ago.
The quarter's results include a gain of $17.3 million, or 10 cents a share, from its Last in First Out (LIFO) inventory accounting method. This method understates net earnings in a rising steel and scrap price environment compared with peers.
Revenue for the quarter dropped 39 percent to $1.45 billion.
Sales at the Americas fabrication and distribution business fell 63 percent to $341.8 million.
Analysts, on average, were looking for loss of 4 cents a share, before items, on revenue of $1.45 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Shares of the Irving, Texas-based company were down 7 percent at $16.03 before the bell Tuesday. They closed at $17.17 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.
For the alerts. please double0click [ID:nWNBB3648] (Reporting by Arundhati Ramanathan in Bangalore; Editing by Unnikrishnan Nair)