6. AK Steel Holding (AKS) through its wholly owned subsidiary produces flat-rolled carbon, stainless and electrical steels and tubular products from its seven steelmaking and finishing plants located in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Besides, the company also has a wholly owned subsidiary AK Tube.
The company recently upgraded its specialty steel businesses through the addition of a new ladle metallurgy furnace and an electric arc furnace to its Butler Works plant in Pennsylvania. The company's chairman believes that this new furnace can process 1.4 million tons of steel annually, which will not only help improve product quality but also boost steelmaking capacity and reduce production costs. AK Steel is scheduled to release its first-quarter earnings on April 26, 2011.
For first quarter of 2011, the company estimates a 5% to 7% sequential increase in shipments to 1,450,000 tons with an approximate 8% increase in average selling price per ton, led by an expected higher contract and spot market prices and better product mix. The company foresees significant improvement in operating levels in the first half of 2011 from the fourth quarter of 2010.Of the 12 analysts covering the stock, 33% recommend a buy and 50% rate a hold. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect an average 12-month price target of $18.7, which is 21% higher than the stock's current price.
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