Cincinnati Enquirer’s Mike Boyer reports:
West Chester-based AK Steel on Tuesday reported a wider loss for the fourth quarter and full year after annual non-cash pension cost adjustments.
The net loss for the three months ended Dec. 31 was $193.9 million, or $1.76 a share, for the maker of flat-rolled carbon, stainless and electrical steel compared with a loss in the year ago quarter of $98.3 million, or 89 cents a share.
The latest quarter included a non-cash, pre-tax pension corridor charge of $268.1 million, or $1.50 a share. Excluding that, AK’s adjusted net loss for the quarter was $28 million, or 26 cents a diluted share. The consensus estimate of analysts was for a loss of 39 cents a share.
Including the pension charge, AK had a fourth-quarter operating loss of $300 million. A year ago, the steelmaker reported an operating loss of $154.6 million, including a $63.7 million charge for shutting down its Ashland, Ky. coke plant.
“The economic recovery we’ve been anticipating for several years simply did not fully materialize in 2011 and we endured another round of raw material price increases,” said James L. Wainscott, chairman, president and CEO.
Because of the economic uncertainty, the company said it was deferring guidance for the current quarter until March.
Fourth-quarter sales were $1.5 billion on shipments of 1.4 million tons compared with sales of $1.4 billion on shipment of 1.36 million tons in the year ago period.
The average selling price for the fourth quarter was $1,070 a ton, about five percent higher than the year-ago price of $1,022 a ton, but down about eight percent from $1,158 a ton in the third quarter.
For the full-year, AK Steel reported a net loss of $155.6 million, or $1.41 a share, compared with a net loss of $128.9 million, or $1.17 a share, for the prior year.
The latest year includes the $268. 1 million non-cash pension charge. The 2010 results included $98 million in one-time charges.
Sales for 2011 were $6.47 billion, up eight percent from $5.97 billion in the prior year. Shipments grew to 5.70 million tons from 5.66 million tons in the prior year.
The operating loss for the full year was $201 million, or $35 a ton, largely due to the pension charge, compared with a operating loss of $134 million, or $24 a ton, in the prior year. Excluding the pension charge, AK said the operating loss for the year was $66.8 million, or $12 a ton.
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