* Second-quarter adj. profit 2 cents/shr vs est loss 4
* Shipments up 5.6 pct at 1.4 mln tons
* Shares rise as much as 8 pct to 2-year high
(Adds details from conference, background; updates share
July 29 AK Steel Holding Corp reported a
surprise quarterly profit as prices rose and it shipped more
steel, sending its shares up nearly 8 percent to their highest
in two years.
The West Chester, Ohio-based company's shipments rose nearly
6 percent to 1.4 million tons in the second quarter ended June
30, while average selling price rose 3.2 percent on higher spot
market prices for carbon steel products.
Steel prices in North America ST-CRUNAM-IDX are near
two-year highs and global crude steel production rose 3.1
percent in June as producers cranked up output in response to an
improving economic outlook.
The company expects a steep decline in raw material prices
to lower third-quarter output costs and boost margins, Chief
Executive Jim Wainscott said on a conference call with analysts.
Wainscott said he expected the company to perform much
better in the second half of the year.
AK Steel makes flat-rolled carbon, stainless and electrical
steels, and tubular products for car makers, industrial and
construction companies and utilities.
The company's shares were up 3 percent at $9.06 in late
morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange. They touched a
high of $9.44.
AK Steel posted a profit of 2 cents per share, excluding
items, compared with the average analyst estimate of a loss of 4
cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Net loss attributable to the company narrowed to $17.1
million, or 13 cents per share, from $40.4 million, or 30 cents
per share, a year earlier.
Net sales rose 9 percent to $1.53 billion.
(Reporting by Anannya Pramanick in Bangalore; Editing by Savio
D'Souza and Maju Samuel)