SCHN 2017 Annual Report

SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES, INC. 28 / Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. Form 10-K 2017 ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS This section includes a discussion of our operations for the three fiscal years endedAugust 31, 2017, 2016, and 2015. The following discussion and analysis provides information which management believes is relevant to an assessment and understanding of our results of operations and financial condition. The discussion should be read in conjunction with the Consolidated Financial Statements and the related notes thereto in Part II, Item 8 of this report and the Selected Financial Data contained in Part II, Item 6 of this report. Business We are one of North America’s largest recyclers of ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal, including end-of-life vehicles, and a manufacturer of finished steel products. Prior to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017, our internal organizational and reporting structure supported two operating and reportable segments: the Auto and Metals Recycling ("AMR") business and the Steel Manufacturing Business ("SMB"). In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017, in accordance with our plan announced in June 2017, we modified our internal organizational and reporting structure to combine our steel manufacturing operations, which had been reported as our SMB segment, with our Oregon metals recycling operations, which had been reported within our AMR segment, forming a new division named Cascade Steel and Scrap ("CSS"). The Oregon metals recycling operations include our shredding and export facilities in Portland, Oregon, and also include four metals recycling feeder yard operations located in Oregon and Southern Washington and one metals recycling joint venture ownership interest. The Oregon metals recycling operations source substantially all of the scrap raw material needs of our steel manufacturing operations. This change in organizational structure is intended to enhance our flexibility, generate internal synergies, and enable us to more effectively adjust to market changes across our recycling and steel manufacturing operations. We began reporting on this new segment structure in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 as reflected in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The segment data for the comparable periods presented has been recast to conform to the current period presentation for all activities of the reorganized segments. Recasting this historical information did not have an impact on the consolidated financial performance of SSI for any of the periods presented. We use operating income to measure our segment performance. Restructuring charges and other exit-related activities are not allocated to segment operating income becausewe do not include this information in ourmeasurement of the segments’performance. Expense related to shared services that support operational activities and transactions is allocated from Corporate to the segments. Unallocated Corporate expense consists primarily of expense for management and certain administrative services that benefit both segments. The results of discontinued operations are excluded from segment operating income and are presented separately, net of tax, from the results of ongoing operations for all periods presented. See Note 18 – Segment Information in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part II, Item 8 of this report for a discussion of the primary activities of each reportable segment, total assets by reportable segment, operating results from continuing operations, revenues from external customers and concentration of sales to foreign countries. Our results of operations depend in large part on the demand and prices for recycled metal in foreign and domestic markets and on the supply of raw materials, including end-of-life vehicles, available to be processed at our facilities. We respond to changes in selling prices for processed metal by seeking to adjust purchase prices for unprocessed scrap metal in order to manage the impact on our operating income. We believe we generally benefit from sustained periods of rising recycled scrap metal selling prices, which allow us to better maintain or increase both operating income and unprocessed scrap metal flow into our facilities. When recycled scrap metal selling prices decline for a sustained period, our operating margins typically compress. Our deep water port facilities on both the East andWest Coasts of the United States (in Everett, Massachusetts; Providence, Rhode Island; Oakland, California; Tacoma,Washington; and Portland, Oregon) and access to public deep water port facilities (in Kapolei, Hawaii; and Salinas, Puerto Rico) allow us to efficiently meet the global demand for recycled ferrous metal by shipping bulk cargoes to steel manufacturers located in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and North, Central and SouthAmerica. Our exports of nonferrous recycled metal are shipped in containers through various public docks to specialty steelmakers, foundries, aluminum sheet and ingot manufacturers, copper refineries and smelters, brass and bronze ingot manufacturers and wire and cable producers globally. We also transport both ferrous and nonferrous metals by truck, rail and barge in order to transfer scrap metal between our facilities for further processing, to load shipments at our export facilities and to meet regional domestic demand. Our quarterly operating results fluctuate based on a variety of factors including, but not limited to, changes in market conditions for ferrous and nonferrous recycled metal and finished steel products, the supply of scrap metal in our domestic markets, and varying demand for used auto parts from our self-service retail stores. These factors are influenced, to a degree, by the impact of seasonal changes including severe weather conditions, which can impact the timing of shipments and inhibit construction activity utilizing our products, scrap metal collection at our facilities, and retail admissions at our auto parts stores.