Evansville Courier & Press Saturday, October 20, 2001 

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AK Steel’s earnings plunge

By The Associated Press

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — AK Steel Corp. lost $5.9 million in the third quarter, compared with earning $41.3 million in the same period a year ago, management said Friday.

That amounted to a loss of 6 cents per share for the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with a profit of 38 cents per share in the third quarter of 2000. Sales totaled $1 billion, down slightly from $1.14 billion last year.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call projected a loss of 9 cents a share for the quarter.

AK Steel shipped 1.46 million tons during the quarter, down slightly from last year’s 1.58 million tons. That was the result of seasonal outages in the automotive industry -— a major AK Steel customer -— and the company’s decision to limit sales on the spot market because of depressed prices, management said.

Operating profit was $22 million, or $15 per ton shipped.

For the first nine months, the company lost $16 million, or 16 cents per share, compared with last year’s profits of $116.9 million and $1.05 per share.

Sales totaled $3.02 billion for the first nine months on 4.5 million tons shipped, compared with $3.55 billion and 4.9 million tons for the same period in 2000.

Planned maintenance outages for the blast furnace at the Ashland, Ky., steel plant and the hot strip mill at its Middletown Works cost the company $18 million during the quarter. That expense was largely offset by lower prices for raw materials and energy and productivity improvements, management said.

The company ended the quarter with a $65 million cash balance. In July, AK Steel completed its acquisition of the former Alpha Tube Corp., now known as AK Tube LLC.

The Middletown-based steelmaker employs 11,500 people in plants and offices in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Pennsylvania. The company also makes snow and ice control products and runs an industrial park in Houston.

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