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DJ. Allegheny Tech Up -3: Intl Paper, 4 Others Kept At Sell
 
  May 21, 2002 (ODJ Select via COMTEX) -- Prudential maintained its sell rating on five metals and paper companies that it said have generally higher debt levels and slower unit volume growth or declining volume trends in some operations.

FWN Financial News
05/21/2002 12:30
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Very Short (341 words)
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Fws; Alabama; Alaska; Bankruptcy; Colorado; Commodity; Communications; Debt; Dollar; Dow Jones; Earnings; Email; Gold; Marketing; Metals; Mining; Nevada; Peru; Rates; Steel; Writing
 

 
 
 
FWN Financial News
DJ. Allegheny Tech Up -3: Intl Paper, 4 Others Kept At Sell

Story Filed: Tuesday, May 21, 2002 12:30 PM EST

May 21, 2002 (ODJ Select via COMTEX) -- Prudential maintained its sell rating on five metals and paper companies that it said have generally higher debt levels and slower unit volume growth or declining volume trends in some operations.

The firm reiterated its rating on International Paper Co. (IP), MeadWestvacoCorp. (MWV), Newmont Mining Corp. (NEM), AK Steel Holding Corp. (AKS) and U.S. Steel Corp. (X).

At March 31, International Paper, MeadWestvaco, Newmont Mining and AK Steel had long-term debt of $12.42 billion, $4.71 billion, $1.74 billion and $1.32 billion, respectively. U.S. Steel reported $31 million of long-term debt due within one year.

Prudential said International Paper requires "multiple years of boom earnings" to recapitalize its balance sheet, and the company's printing and writing paper businesses are vulnerable to higher postage rates, electronic substitution and email-based mass marketing.

MeadWestvaco, the nation's second-largest coated paper producer, has similar risks to communications paper markets, the firm said.

Prudential said U.S. Steel and AK Steel "suffer as the leading integrated steel makers with union contracts not in bankruptcy, as their competitors move to erase liabilities and recapitalize."

The firm said Newmont Mining has above-average debt and hedging risks, and it has "little confidence" that the company's direct cost reserves extracted in Nevada and Peru will be replaced with similarly profitable gold.

International Paper's shares were recently unchanged at $44.02; MeadWestvaco's shares were up 0.6%, or 19 cents, at $30.85; Newmont Mining's shares were up 1.4%, or 41 cents, at $30.55; AK Steel's shares were up 2.6%, or 35 cents, at $13.90; and U.S. Steel's shares were down 0.2%, or 4 cents, at $19.95.

Prudential also said the weaker dollar strengthens the positions of commodities companies it rates hold or buy. The firm currently has buy ratings on Rio Tinto PLC (RTP), Alcan Inc. (AL), Antofagasta PLC (U.AFH), BHB Billiton Ltd. (BHP), Phelps Dodge Corp. (PD) and Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX).

-Susan Willetts; Dow Jones Newswires; 201-938-5388

(C) Copyright 2002 ODJ

SUBJECT CODE:     ENERGY
                  FIBER
                  METALS
                  FINANCIAL

Copyright 2002, FWN Financial News, all rights reserved.

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