AK Steel Survives Infringement Scare

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AK Steel Holding Corporation (AKS) announced that the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit denied ArcelorMittal's (MT) petition to reassess its patent infringement lawsuit regarding aluminized boron steel.

The decision by the court confirms that AK Steel does not infringe on ArcelorMittal’s patent and allows AK Steel to sell its Ultralume aluminized boron steel product.

Ultralume is an advanced high-strength steel and provides improved strength, assists in product weight reduction and is engineered for safety. It is utilized for hot-stamped, press-hardened applications where the ultimate tensile strength is less than 1,500 megapascals (MPa).
    
AK Steel is a world leader in the production of flat-rolled carbon, stainless and electrical steel products, primarily for automotive, infrastructure and manufacturing, construction and electrical power generation and distribution markets.

Few days ago, AK Steel provided its outlook for the first quarter of 2013. AK Steel forecasts net loss to be lower in the quarter compared with the fourth quarter of 2012 due to lower raw material costs.

AK Steel expects net loss to be in the range of 9 cents to 13 cents per share for the first quarter of 2013, which is much less than the loss of 30 cents recorded in the fourth quarter of 2012.

AK Steel expects average selling price to rise about 5% to $1,060 per ton in the first quarter from average selling price per ton of $1,011 in the fourth quarter of 2012. Shipments, for the first quarter, are expected to be in the range of 1,275,000 to 1,300,000 tons compared with 1,406,100 tons in the fourth quarter of 2012.

AK Steel currently maintains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Other companies in the steel industry worth considering are Gibraltar Industries Inc. (ROCK), Shiloh Industries Inc. (SHLO). Both Gibraltar and Shiloh hold a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
 

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