Local surgeon faces charges – A federal grand jury returned a 10-count indictment against Dr. Atiq Durrani, Greater Cincinnati spine doctor, “alleging that, beginning in 2009, he convinced patients to undergo medically unnecessary spinal surgeries,” then billed health care programs millions of dollars, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Durrani performed many surgeries at West Chester Hospital.
They might not be the best of friends, but that doesn’t stop Speaker of the House John Boehner, left, from exchanging birthday gifts with President Barack Obama. Getty Images.
Boehner b-day gift to Obama – House Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama may not be on the best of terms these days. But that doesn’t mean the West Chester Republican let Obama’s birthday pass without sending a gift, Deirdre Shesgreen reported last week. So what did Boehner buy for the world’s most powerful leader—and his party’s most ardent foe—when Obama turned 52?
AK Steel – AK Steel Holding Co. is relying on its $1.1 billion revolving credit facility to cover the industry’s deepest cash burn as the most leveraged U.S. steelmaker bets on raw-material investments to restore profit. AK Steel borrowed $40 million from its previously untapped credit line in the second quarter as its cash balance fell 74 percent from the end of last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Mercy to open Lib. Twp. clinic – A new outpatient physical therapy center is opening this week in Butler County, The Enquirer reported last week. Mercy Health – Liberty Falls Medical Center is opening Monday at 6770 Cincinnati-Dayton Road in Liberty Township. The new outpatient clinic is an extension of the outpatient physical therapy department at Mercy Health – Fairfield Hospital.
Collection coming to Lib. Twp. businesses – Look for collection jars to begin showing up at Liberty Township businesses by the end of the month. The township’s Parks Committee got the go ahead from trustees last week to solicit funds via the collection jars. Money collected would be placed into a Charitable Community Fund account for park use. Besides collecting donations the jars serve a second purpose; awareness about the different parks located in the township.
AK Steel Holding Co. is relying on its $1.1 billion revolving credit facility to cover the industry’s deepest cash burn as the most leveraged U.S. steelmaker bets on raw-material investments to restore profit.
AK Steel borrowed $40 million from its previously untapped credit line in the second quarter as its cash balance fell 74 percent from the end of last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The West Chester-based company burned through $126 million in the last year, a rate that would exhaust the remaining $58.4 million of cash in less than six months.
While the company is selling more material to U.S. automakers, it’s still struggling to contend with a global supply glut and is draining cash to fund projects including an iron-mining venture. That’s left its $550 million of 7.625 percent bonds due May 2020 trading at 86.5 cents on the dollar to yield 10.45 percent Monday in New York, the highest of any similar-maturity note in the metals and mining industry.
“That’s their hope, that earnings improve to where they can pay operating expenses without having to draw down on their revolver,” Wen Li, an analyst at debt researcher CreditSights Inc. in New York, said in a telephone interview. “But that’s proven an issue for them over the past few years, where they’ll fund operations using the revolver and then come to market and issue debt or equity to pay down the revolver — that’s not sustainable going forward.”
AK Steel raised about $600 million in debt and equity in November to help pay down the credit line, which matures in April 2016, and last month added $30 million to the $350 million of 8.75 percent senior secured notes it sold eight months ago. With a revolving loan, money that’s been paid back can be borrowed again.
The company said in a July 23 statement that it had $905.3 million of available liquidity, which includes its cash and remaining revolver capacity, a 14 percent decline from the previous quarter.
While “our liquidity currently is in excellent shape,” Chief Executive Officer James Wainscott said during a conference call to discuss second-quarter results with analysts and investors last week, “we know we’ve got to get back to cash generation.” (more…)
Work is continuing at AK Steel’s steelmaking facility in Middletown to repair a blast furnace that suffered a mechanical failure last week.
West Chester-based AK Steel Holding Corp. said no injuries resulted from the Saturday failure at the furnace’s charging apparatus. The charging apparatus is the system used to feed coke, iron ore, limestone and other feedstock into the blast furnace, which is used to produce molten iron.
The company is continuing to assess the situation. AK Steel spokesman Michael Wallner said Thursday that repairs could be complete as early as next month.
AK Steel is expected to provide an update on the incident during its second-quarter earnings conference call with equity analysts on July 23.
AK Steel is using its Butler Works electric arc furnace in Pennsylvania and its Ashland Works blast furnace in Kentucky to pick up the slack from the production loss. AK Steel indicated it could buy carbon slabs from the merchant market to serve customers.
Although it carries insurance, AK Steel warned it could see uninsured losses between $10 million and $27.5 million. The company also warned the outage could impact steel shipments in the second quarter that ends June 30 and the third quarter that ends Sept. 30.
While conservatives protested the IRS at the nation’s Capital Wednesday, back in West Chester, Ohio, local tea party members held signs and waved at passing motorists outside House Speaker John Boehner’s local office – wanting their congressman to step up.
Local Tea Party protests IRS – Members of The Cincinnati Tea Party, as well as members from the Liberty Township and West Chester tea parties, held signs and waved at passing motorists outside House Speaker John Boehner’s West Chester office last Wednesday afternoon. The group was protesting the IRS and its alleged targeting of conservative groups.
Man to turn in guilty plea in fatal loose tire crash – Paul Lallier signed and submitted a written guilty plea to misdemeanor counts of vehicular homicide and and obstructing official business in the March 28, 2011, death of Dylan Morrison, 22, of West Chester, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters announced last week. Lallier was driving a truck when a tire came loose and flew onto the other side of the highway, crashing into Morrison’s windshield.
But. Co. helping with Colo. fire – Eight firefighters from Butler County are doing their part to help combat the devastating Black Forest fire in Colorado – and, at the same time, they’re learning tactics that could be put to use for any major disaster that could strike here, Monroe Fire Chief John Centers told The Enquirer last Monday. The Butler team hailed from the cities of Monroe, Middletown and Oxford, along with Ross, West Chester, Liberty and Fairfield townships.
Evan Cook with his mother Kathy Cook, Evan just graduated from the Lakota Plans Junior School in Liberty twp. over the last year Lakota has seen it’s enrollment drop. Photo taken by Tony Jones.
Shrinking enrollment causes problems – Michael D. Clark reported last week that while the school year might be finished but there is no end in sight for shrinking enrollments at some once-booming, suburban school systems. The trend adds to the nervousness of Southwest Ohio school officials and school parents who await the state budget’s unveiling later this month. Smaller enrollment often means less school funding in Ohio’s biennium budgets. And fewer state dollars mean districts often ask voters to pay higher school taxes.
Coney Island 1965 opens – EnterTRAINment Junction officially opened its replica of Coney Island as it was in 1965 on Friday. Overall, the project cost more than $150,000 to build and includes a 40-foot long roller coaster called the Shooting Star. The original Shooting Star was built in 1948. EnterTRAINment Junction is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
AK Steel expects loss in 2Q – West Chester Township-based AK Steel warned investors last week that it expects a net loss of between $0.33 and $0.38 per diluted share of common stock for the second quarter of 2013. The company also expects its average selling price per ton for the second quarter of 2013 to decrease by approximately 1 percent from its price for the first quarter of 2013, falling from $1,063 to $1,055 per ton.
SentriLock opens global HQ – Electronic lockbox systems provider SentriLock opened its new West Chester headquarters on Friday. The National Association of Realtors-owned SentriLock sought the move from Sharonville to a new 40,000-square-foot facility at 7701 Service Center Drive to house its 100 employees. The company said it sought the move as a result of its expanding operations.
Butler County’s local drive-in taking the digital plunge – Time is running out. People in the drive-in industry expect film distributors to stop producing 35mm prints of new films this year. Todd Chancey took the plunge. He and his business partner invested in digital projection equipment and began showing digital films this month at Holiday Auto Theatre. Debi Brooks did the same thing at her Starlite Drive-in in Amelia (Clermont County) in March.
West Chester Township-based AK Steel warned investors Monday that it expects a net loss of between $0.33 and $0.38 per diluted share of common stock for the second quarter of 2013.
In April, AK Steel reported a net loss of $9.9 million or 7 cents per share in the first quarter. In January, the steelmaker reported a net loss of $1,027.3 million or $9.06 per diluted share for 2012. In 2011, it reported a loss of $155.6 million or $1.41 per share.
The company also expects its average selling price per ton for the second quarter of 2013 to decrease by approximately 1 percent from its price for the first quarter of 2013, falling from $1,063 to $1,055 per ton.
The expected decrease in average selling price is primarily due to lower spot market prices for carbon steel products compared to the previous quarter, according to AK Steel.
Second quarter results include the effect of the a seven-day maintenance outage at its Middletown blast furnace, which will drive up the company’s maintenance costs to $21 million for the second quarter. The company spent $1 million in total maintenance outage costs in the first quarter and does not have any other planned blast furnace maintenance outages for the reminder of 2013.
Also in Monday’s release, AK Steel said that it expects shipments of approximately 1,340,000 to 1,360,000 tons in the second quarter of 2013 compared to shipments of 1,289,800 tons in the first quarter of 2013, a increase of approximately 4 to 5 percent.
AK Steel Holding Corp. posted a smaller first quarter loss as the firm benefited from lower costs for raw materials in a struggling domestic steel market.
The West Chester Township-based steelmaker said Tuesday it had a net loss of $9.9 million, or 7 cents per share. One year ago, AK Steel lost $11.8 million, or 11 cents per share.
Revenue fell 9 percent to $1.4 billion in revenue. Steel shipments dipped 3 percent to nearly 1.3 million in the quarter. The average selling price in the first quarter was $1,062 per ton, which was down 7 percent from a year ago, but up 5 percent from the fourth quarter.
AK Steel President and Chief Executive Officer James Wainscott said $33.2 million operating profit in the first quarter reflects progress for the company. One year earlier, the company had a $4.1 million operating profit.
Wainscott said the company benefited from higher shipments to the automotive market, a higher-priced mix of products sold and lower costs, largely for raw materials such as iron ore, coal, carbon scrap and coke. However, he said global steelmaking capacity continues to exceed demand.
Mills want to boost prices now because steel users and service centers should be increasing orders to satisfy based on demand expected from their customers. AK Steel announced a price hike about two weeks ago on flat rolled stainless steel products.
AK Steel said its Middletown blast furnace will have a seven-day maintenance outage in the second quarter, which the company added was the first major one at the facility since 2009. Maintenance outage costs are expected to be $20 million higher than the first quarter as a result.
AK Steel was up as high as 6 percent in premarket trading as analysts expected the firm to post a larger loss per share. Shares traded at $2.94, up 2 cents or about 1 percent, in early morning trading.
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.
Shares of some U.S. steel manufacturers rose Tuesday, a day after West Chester-based AK Steel Holding Corp. imposed a $50 per ton increase in spot market base prices for carbon flat-rolled steel used in such products as automobiles and appliances.
AK Steel said Monday that the increase was effective immediately on new orders.
The company’s announcement followed a $40-per-short-ton increase imposed in mid-October by United States Steel Corp. AK Steel, Nucor and other U.S. major steel manufacturers matched the U.S. Steel increase.
Steel manufacturers have struggled because of the slower global economy, which has cut into demand while supplies have grown because of imports and new U.S. facilities that have opened. That put pressure on steel prices.
Steel manufacturers are expecting an increase in the cost of scrap, an iron-containing material that can be recast into new steel products, Morningstar Inc. analyst Bridget Freas said. That could be one reason for AK Steel’s second price increase in such a short period.
In addition, the companies are heading into a season when steel prices typically are higher, from December through March, she said.
In a telephone interview, the analyst said she wasn’t sure if other manufacturers would match the AK Steel’s increase. Despite the rise in scrap prices and seasonal trends, there hasn’t been a recent increase in demand, she said.
Freas estimated the prevailing steel price between $600 per ton to $620 per ton.
AK Steel closed up 6.39 percent on Tuesday to $5.66.
AK Steel Holding Corp. said Tuesday that its third-quarter loss widened to $60.9 million, as steel prices dropped.
The results fell significantly short of Wall Street predictions and AK Steel shares tumbled in morning trading.
The West Chester, Ohio-based company’s loss amounted to 55 cents per share compared with a loss of $3.5 million, or 3 cents per share, a year ago.
Revenue fell 7.7 percent to $1.46 billion.
Analysts, on average, expected a loss of 35 cents per share on $1.48 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.
Steel shipments were flat at about 1.4 million tons, and the selling price per ton fell 7.3 percent to $1,073 per ton.
AK Steel said that tough economic conditions around the world continue to hurt steel shipping volumes and prices. In addition, the company said it continues to deal with some higher-cost raw material inventories.
“Challenging domestic and global economic conditions continue to weigh on shipping volumes and prices,” said James L. Wainscott, chairman, president and CEO of AK Steel, in a statement. “Additionally, while we expect to enjoy lower raw material costs in the future, we are still working through some higher cost raw material inventories.”
AK Steel didn’t release specific fourth-quarter guidance, but said it expects to post a loss. Analysts expect a loss of 11 cents per share for the quarter.
AK Steel shares surged 7.5 percent Monday after the West Chester-based company announced it will increase current spot market prices for carbon flat-rolled steel products by $30 per ton, effective immediately.
The steel industry has struggled to deal with declining demand in the slow global economy, higher raw-material costs in some cases and plentiful supplies. AK Steel shares closed on Monday at $5.28, up 37 cents.