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Allegheny projects lower-than-expected 1Q profit

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Allegheny Technologies Inc. on Tuesday projected a steep drop in first-quarter profit, to a level below Wall Street expectations. The metals maker blamed continued weak demand, competition from imports and low prices.

Allegheny expects net income of about $10 million, or 9 cents per share, on $1.18 billion in revenue. In the January-March period a year ago, Allegheny's profit came to $56.2 million, or 50 cents per share, on $1.35 billion in revenue.

Analysts, on average, expect a profit of 23 cents per share on $1.19 billion in revenue for the most recent quarter, according to FactSet.

Allegheny, which is based in Pittsburgh, plans to release its full quarterly results on April 24.

The company said prices of cold-rolled standard sheet products fell to record lows, mainly as a result of competition from cheaper imports and lower demand. Demand for zirconium and related products was weak too.

Shares still rose 17 cents to $28.15 in morning trading. Broader markets moved higher Tuesday morning after a Monday slide, with the Standard & Poor's 500 index up 0.8 percent.

Allegheny shares have dropped about 30 percent in the past 12 months.