Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. (NYSE:RS) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript
Apr 26, 2018 • 11:00 am ET
Greetings and welcome to the Reliance Steel & Aluminum Company First Quarter 2018 Earnings Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. A question-and-answer session will follow the formal presentation. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.
I would now like to turn the conference over to your host, Miss, Brenda Miyamoto, Investor Relations for Reliance Steel & Aluminum Company. Thank you. You may begin.
Thank you, operator. Good morning and thanks to all of you for joining our conference call to discuss our first quarter 2018 financial results. I'm joined by Gregg Mollins, our President and CEO; Karla Lewis, our Senior Executive Vice President and CFO; Jim Hoffman, our Executive Vice President and COO; and Bill Sales, our Executive Vice President of Operations.
A recording of this call will be posted on the Investors section of our website at investor.rsac.com. The press release and the information on this call may contain certain forward-looking statements, which are based on a number of assumptions that are subject to change and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties or other factors, which may not be under the company's control, which may cause the actual results, performance or achievement of the company to be materially different from the results, performance or other expectations implied by these forward-looking statements.
These factors include but are not limited to those factors disclosed in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017 under the caption Risk Factors and other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The press release and the information on this call speak only as of today's date and the company disclaims any duty to update the information provided therein and herein.
I will now turn the call over to Gregg Mollins, President and CEO of Reliance.
Thank you, Brenda. Good morning everyone and thank you for joining us today to discuss our financial results. We had an exceptional first quarter, the positive pricing and demand fundamentals experienced in the fourth quarter of 2017 continued through the first quarter of 2018, with pricing momentum building throughout the quarter.
This resulted in record quarterly sales of $2.76 billion driven by higher selling prices and record volume of 1.6 million tons sold. Our strong gross profit margin of 29.7% along with our record sales generated the highest quarterly gross profit dollars in our Company's history of $819.9 million. Continued strong execution by our managers in the field, supported by the positive business environment, produced the second highest quarterly earnings in our company's history at $2.30 per diluted share, exceeding our expectations.
If not for the benefit from tax reform in the fourth quarter of 2017, our earnings per diluted share of $2.30 in the first quarter of 2018 would have been our highest on record. The metal pricing environment remained very strong throughout the quarter resulting in a 5.6% increase in our average selling price compared to the fourth quarter of 2017, near the high