AK Steel earnings better than predicted

AK Steel Holding Corp. (AKS) today reported second-quarter net income of $17.3 million, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier.

On a per-share basis, the West Chester Twp.-based company said it had net income of 8 cents.

The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for a loss of 4 cents per share.

“Our strategic decision to reduce exposure to commodity spot markets, optimize our footprint and focus on higher value products continued to show positive results as we achieved another quarter of significant improvement,” Roger Newport, AK Steel’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. “We continue to make operational improvements and relentlessly pursue margin enhancements, and we are seeing the benefit of these actions in our financial results.”

The steel producer posted revenue of $1.49 billion in the period, which missed Street forecasts. Three analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $1.51 billion.

AK Steel shares have more than doubled since the beginning of the year.