AK Steel hits two-and-a-half year high on surprise Q2 profit

|About: AK Steel Holding Corp (AKS)|By:, SA News Editor

AK Steel (AKS +3.1%) moves out to two-and-a-half year highs after reporting a surprise Q2 operating profit and reversing from a $0.30 loss a year ago.

AKS posted Q2 sales of $1.53B on shipments of nearly 1.4M tons, up 6% Y/Y despite extreme winter weather conditions that slowed shipments of iron ore pellets; sales in the year-ago quarter totaled $1.4B on shipments of ~1.3M tons.

The increase in shipments was primarily a result of the recovery from the planned and unplanned outages at the Ashland Works blast furnace in Q1.

The average selling price during Q2 rose 3% Y/Y to $1,095/ton as a result of higher spot market prices for carbon steel products.

After overcoming Q2's challenges, CEO James Wainscott says AKS is "well positioned for a much better third quarter and second half of 2014."