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AK Steel Holding Corporation (AKS - Analyst Report) declared a minimum of $25 per ton hike in the current spot market base price for all carbon flat-rolled steel products. The price hike is effective immediately with new orders.

AK Steel has priced its hot rolled steel product at $675 per ton, cold rolled steel product at $775 per ton and hot dipped galvanized steel product at $795 per ton.

On Jun 13, the Ohio-based company announced a price increase for the same products by a minimum of $40 per ton.

AK Steel posted a narrower loss in second-quarter 2013 on Jul 23. The company recorded a net loss of $40.4 million or 30 cents a share in the quarter, down roughly 94% from a loss of $724.2 million or $6.55 a share a year-ago. The year-ago quarter’s results were dragged down by income tax charge of $735.6 million or $6.65 per share.

During the reported quarter, AK Steel took a charge of $21.6 million related to the planned maintenance outage at its Middletown Works blast furnace in Ohio. Moreover, it incurred $6.2 million associated with unplanned blast furnace outage in the quarter. AK Steel also recorded an inventory-related credit of $12.4 million in the reported quarter.  

Barring one-time items (tax charges related to a valuation allowance for deferred tax assets), AK Steel’s loss for the quarter was 15 cents per share, lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 35 cents.

Revenues fell 8.7% year over year to $1,404.5 million in the reported quarter due to lower shipments to carbon spot and electrical steel markets. It missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,414 million.

Average selling price dropped 8% year over year to $1,061 per ton on account of lower spot market prices for carbon steel products, a decline in raw material surcharges and lower selling prices for electrical steel products.

AK Steel expects total uninsured losses of between $12 million and $17 million for second-half 2013. The company further expects to take additional costs related to the unplanned maintenance outage at the Middletown Works blast furnace in the third quarter.

While AK Steel is poised to gain from healthy automotive demand, it remains cautious about the weak steel pricing environment and a challenging operating backdrop in overseas markets.

AK Steel currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Other companies in the steel industry with favorable Zacks Rank are Kobe Steel Ltd. (KBSTY), Shiloh Industries Inc. (SHLO) and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation (NSSMY). All of them hold a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
 

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