AK Steel stock falls after UBS downgrade

Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:19am EDT

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(Reuters) - AK Steel Holding Corp (AKS.N) shares fell more than 6 percent on Tuesday after UBS lowered its investment rating on the steelmaker due to fears of weakening steel prices.

UBS analyst Shneur Gershuni cut AK Steel to "sell" from "neutral" and lowered his share price target to $4 from $5.50.

"We view AK Steel as having the most downside risk in an environment with weaker pricing," he wrote in a research note. "Our ongoing concern with liquidity remains an issue as well."

In morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange, AK Steel shares were 6.1 percent lower at $5.30. Other U.S. steel company stocks were little changed.

Last Thursday, analyst Tony Rizzuto of Dahlman Rose & Co also cut his investment rating for AK Steel to "sell" from "hold" in a downgrade of the whole U.S. steel industry.

Rizzuto said recent domestic price increases have not been matched internationally, which raised the potential for more imports. He cited continued demand weakness, particularly in China, putting a cap on domestic price increases.

Last month, AK Steel posted a deep second-quarter loss as net sales fell 14 percent on weaker shipments and selling prices.

The company did not issue a third-quarter profit forecast, citing economic uncertainty.

(Reporting By Steve James; editing by John Wallace)

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