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AK Steel Holding Corporation (AKS): Today's Featured Basic Materials Laggard

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

AK Steel Holding Corporation ( AKS) pushed the Basic Materials sector lower today making it today's featured Basic Materials laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 1.6%. By the end of trading, AK Steel Holding Corporation fell 5 cents (-1%) to $4.85 on average volume. Throughout the day, 5.8 million shares of AK Steel Holding Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7.4 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $4.79-$5 after having opened the day at $5 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $4.90. Other companies within the Basic Materials sector that declined today were: Ceres ( CERE), down 11.6%, Geokinetics ( GOK), down 10.9%, H.B. Fuller Company ( FUL), down 9.5%, and BioFuel Energy Corporation ( BIOF), down 9.1%.

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AK Steel Holding Corporation, through its subsidiaries, produces flat-rolled carbon, stainless and electrical steels, and tubular products in the United States and internationally. AK Steel Holding Corporation has a market cap of $536.5 million and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are down 41.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are three analysts that rate AK Steel Holding Corporation a buy, five analysts rate it a sell, and five rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates AK Steel Holding Corporation as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, poor profit margins, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share.

On the positive front, Royale Energy ( ROYL), up 32.9%, GeoGlobal Resources ( GGR), up 19.9%, Jaguar Mining ( JAG), up 10.4%, and GMX Resources ( GMXR), up 9.2%, were all gainers within the basic materials sector with Anadarko Petroleum ( APC) being today's featured basic materials sector leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the basic materials sector could consider Materials Select Sector SPDR ( XLB) while those bearish on the basic materials sector could consider ProShares Short Basic Materials Fd ( SBM).

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