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Updated: 7:45 PM EDT
Thursday, Oct 24, 2002
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08:29 EDT Wednesday 

Charge doesn't change AK Steel rating

Standard and Poor's said it will not revise its credit rating or outlook for AK Steel after the Middletown company said it would take a $500 million after-tax charge during the fourth quarter.

AK Steel's credit remains at "BB," with a stable outlook, the ratings agency said.

The $500 million noncash charge, for the company's pension fund liabilities, is the result of poorly performing equity markets but won't have an impact on AK Steel's financial covenants, Standard and Poor's said.

"Nevertheless, without improvement in the equity markets, AK will be required to make meaningful cash contributions in 2004 and beyond to fund its pension shortfall," the firm wrote in a research note.

AK Steel, with about 11,500 workers companywide, produces flat-rolled carbon, stainless and electrical steel at plants in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Pennsylvania.

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