AK Steel (AKS) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of AK Steel (NYSE:AKS) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “AK Steel should benefit from the strength in the automotive market and the Precision Partners acquisition. The company’s sustained initiatives to manage costs should also support its bottom line. The acquisition of the Severstal Dearborn plant is expected to boost AK Steel’s future earnings and improve its credit profile and liquidity. The buyout has provided the company an access to highly modernized and upgraded steelmaking equipment and facilities. However, AK Steel faces weakness in electrical steel pricing due to global overcapacity. It is also exposed to a volatile raw material pricing environment. The U.S. steel industry is also not out of the woods yet. AK Steel has also underperformed the industry it belongs to over the past six months.”

Several other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. Jefferies Group cut AK Steel from a buy rating to a hold rating and reduced their price objective for the stock from $6.64 to $6.50 in a research note on Tuesday, January 9th. Cowen restated a hold rating and set a $7.00 price objective on shares of AK Steel in a research note on Thursday, January 4th. Longbow Research upgraded AK Steel from a neutral rating to a buy rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $5.53 to $7.00 in a research note on Wednesday, December 20th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded AK Steel from a neutral rating to an overweight rating and raised their target price for the company from $6.00 to $7.00 in a research note on Thursday, December 7th. Finally, upgraded AK Steel from a neutral rating to an outperform rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 21st. Nine analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. AK Steel has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $7.54.

AK Steel (NYSE AKS) opened at $6.44 on Wednesday. AK Steel has a one year low of $4.00 and a one year high of $10.26. The company has a market capitalization of $2,030.00, a P/E ratio of 42.93, a PEG ratio of 1.61 and a beta of 2.90. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 11.89, a quick ratio of 0.75 and a current ratio of 1.92.

AK Steel (NYSE:AKS) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 31st. The basic materials company reported $0.02 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.03 by ($0.01). AK Steel had a return on equity of 140.37% and a net margin of 0.92%. sell-side analysts anticipate that AK Steel will post 0.26 earnings per share for the current year.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. State of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D acquired a new position in AK Steel during the third quarter worth about $81,614,000. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its holdings in AK Steel by 14.3% during the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 6,162,355 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $40,489,000 after acquiring an additional 772,725 shares during the period. Ameriprise Financial Inc. grew its holdings in AK Steel by 10.8% during the third quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 4,165,221 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $23,284,000 after acquiring an additional 404,540 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp grew its holdings in AK Steel by 3.6% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 3,829,715 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $25,160,000 after acquiring an additional 132,062 shares during the period. Finally, Creative Planning grew its holdings in AK Steel by 66.7% during the fourth quarter. Creative Planning now owns 2,327,366 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $13,173,000 after acquiring an additional 931,560 shares during the period. 65.25% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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AK Steel Company Profile

AK Steel Holding Corporation is a producer of flat-rolled carbon, stainless and electrical steels, and tubular products through its subsidiary, AK Steel Corporation (AK Steel). The Company also operates blast furnaces and electric arc furnaces. As of December 31, 2016, its operations included eight steelmaking and finishing plants, two coke plants and two tube manufacturing plants across states, including Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and a tube manufacturing plant in Mexico.

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