WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - AK Steel (AKS) on Thursday said it expects to report a net loss of $0.28 to $0.23 per share for the first quarter.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the company to report a profit of $0.01 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
In a statement, the steel products company said its results were hurt by lower carbon steel spot market shipments and prices amid a jump in 'unfairly traded imports.'
AK Steel expects first-quarter shipments to decline 14% sequentially to about 1.73 million tons.
The company said its shipments of carbon and stainless steels to the automotive market are expected to be strong, even as excess steel making capacity and tough economic conditions globally have led to higher imports in the U.S.
Results were further weighed down by a stronger U.S. dollar that has made imports attractive, the company said.
According to the company, imports of flat rolled carbon steel products increased by nearly 60 percent in 2014, and have averaged more than one million tons per month in January and February of 2015.
AK Steel expects an average selling price of about $995 per ton for the first quarter, or about 1% higher than the prior quarter, mainly due to a richer product mix.
The company said it expects to benefit from lower raw material and energy costs in the first quarter.
Recently, bigger rival Steel Dynamics provided weak earnings guidance for the first quarter, citing lower steel shipments caused by inventory overhang and hesitant customer buying, and an expected metal margin compression.
Steel Dynamics noted that while its steel operations experienced volume and pricing reduction, the sheet operations were the most significantly impacted.
AK Steel closed on Thursday at $4.20, down $0.09 or 2.10%, on a volume of 5.6 million shares on the NYSE. In after hours, the stock dropped $0.35 or 8.33%.
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