TEXT-S&P cuts AK Steel Holding
corporate credit rating |
Mon July 21, 2003 12:20 PM ET
(The following statement was released by the
NEW YORK, July 21 - Standard & Poor's Ratings Services
said today that it has lowered its corporate credit ratings on
integrated steel producer AK Steel Corp. and its parent, AK
Steel Holding Corp. to 'B+' from 'BB-' based on the company's
weaker than expected financial performance. The current
outlook is negative. Middleton, Ohio-based AK Steel has about
$1.3 billion in total debt.
"The downgrade reflects AK's weaker than expected financial
performance resulting from difficult conditions in its key
market segments and the expectation that these conditions will
continue to subdue the company's financial performance for the
intermediate term', said Standard & Poor's credit analyst
Paul Vastola. "AK's competitive position has also been
weakened by integrated steel companies that have emerged from
bankruptcy and drastically improved their balance sheets by
reducing debt and shedding their postretirement obligations."
Standard & Poor's said that its ratings on AK Steel
reflect its challenged business position as a mid-size,
value-added, integrated steelmaker, with high exposure to the
automotive market, and burdensome legacy costs, which more
than offset its fair liquidity. AK Steel competes in cyclical,
capital-intensive markets with a focus on the manufacture of
flat-rolled carbon, stainless, and electrical steel.
Complete ratings information is available to subscribers of
RatingsDirect, Standard & Poor's Web-based credit analysis
system, at www.ratingsdirect.com. All ratings affected by this
rating action can be found on Standard & Poor's Web site
at www.standardandpoors.com; under Credit Ratings in the left
navigation bar, select Credit Ratings Actions.