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AK Steel Holding Corporation (AKS - Analyst Report) has declared its outlook for the fourth quarter of 2013. The company expects earnings per share in the range of 2 cents to 6 cents, barring the impact of a potential, non-cash income tax benefit associated with pension and other gains.

AK Steel expects shipments to be about 1.4 million tons, an increase of about 13% from the earlier quarter. This is based on the company's recovery from the earlier announced unplanned Middletown Works blast furnace outage. AK Steel also expects stronger carbon sales in the fourth quarter compared with third-quarter 2013. However, the company predicts prices will go down 4% from the previous quarter due to reduced proportion of value-added shipments to the spot market in the fourth quarter.

AK Steel projects maintenance outage costs of about $2 million for the fourth quarter, down from $4.2 million in the prior quarter. The company estimates expense related to the blast furnace outage, that affected its facility in Middletown, Ohio, to be about $5 million for the fourth quarter, net of insurance recoveries.

The company’s guidance for non-cash income tax expense is $2 million, or a penny per share.

AK Steel posted a net loss of $31.7 million or 23 cents a share in third-quarter 2013, roughly 48% narrower than a loss of $60.9 million or 55 cents per share reported a year-ago. Barring one-time items (tax charges related to a valuation allowance for deferred tax assets), AK Steel’s loss for the quarter was 12 cents per share.

Revenues dropped 9% year over year to $1,331.3 million in the quarter due to lower shipments.

AK Steel, which is among the prominent players in the steel industry along with United States Steel Corp. (X - Analyst Report), Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (SID - Analyst Report) and ArcelorMittal (MT - Analyst Report), currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
 

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