Bowdeya Tweh reports:
AK Steel Holding Corp. said Friday it expects to post a net loss of between 9 cents and 13 cents per share in the first quarter.
The West Chester Township-based parent of AK Steel said it is dealing with lower levels of steel shipments and below average spot market demand compared to the fourth quarter.
AK Steel had a net loss of $11.8 million, or 11 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2012 and a net loss of $230.4 million, or $1.89 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Steel shipments are expected to be down at least 7.5 percent from the previous quarter to 1.275 million and 1.3 million tons of steel. Shipments to the automotive industry are expected to be higher in the first three months of the year, compared to the last three months of 2012.
Normally, demand on the spot market improves in the first quarter as manufacturers and service centers ramp up orders for steel goods used in the production of items such as refrigerators, automobiles, tools and tractors.
The average selling price per ton of steel in the first quarter is expected to rise 5 percent to $1,060 per ton from the fourth quarter. The company said this was the result of selling a larger volume of higher priced products during the quarter. The average price the company captured per ton of steel in 2011 and 2012 was $1,131 and $1,092, respectively.
Lower raw material costs are expected to contribute to the company having lower overall costs in the quarter.
AK Steel said that it expects a noncash tax benefit of about $4 million to $5 million in the first quarter from a valuation change in a deferred tax asset.