AK Steel Projects Loss on Plant-Idling Charges

18 December 2015

AK Steel Holding Corp. projected a bigger-than-expected loss for the fourth quarter on one-time items, including expenses related to the idling of a Kentucky blast furnace and a write-down of its former insurance operations.

The West Chester, Ohio, steelmaker expects to post a per-share loss of between 33 cents and 38 cents. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters recently expected a per-share loss of 15 cents.

The company’s decision to temporarily idle its Ashland Works operation was in response to weak steel prices amid a supply glut and an increase in low-priced imports.

AK Steel has said its business is being hurt by unfairly priced imports from steelmakers in Brazil, China, and India, among other countries.

The fourth-quarter guidance includes 42 cents a share related to the idling of the Ashland operation and a write-down of 24 cents a share related to its discontinued insurance operation.

AK Steel expects fourth-quarter shipments will decline roughly 14% from the third quarter owing to its decision to reduced its exposure to the carbon steel spot market, amid weak pricing owing to an influx of low-priced imports.