SOURCE: The Bedford Report

The Bedford Report

August 16, 2011 08:16 ET

Steelmakers Struggle to Find Business

The Bedford Report Provides Equity Research on US Steel & AK Steel

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Aug 16, 2011) - North American Steel companies have seen a slight downturn in demand as China boosted domestic production in the first half of 2011. While steel stocks have taken a sizeable hit on the news, favourable demand trends are expected to emerge in the near future. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for the Steel Industry and provides equity research on United States Steel Corporation (NYSE: X) and AK Steel Holding Corporation (NYSE: AKS). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

www.bedfordreport.com/X
www.bedfordreport.com/AKS

North American Steel companies have seen a slight downturn in demand as China boosted domestic production in the first half of 2011. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced that imports were likely to be 16 million tonnes compared with 16.43 million tonnes in 2010. China is likely to export 45 million tonnes of steel products in 2011, up 5.7 percent compared with last year.

On the upside for US producers, the ministry warned that domestic steel production may slow in the second half on lower industrial production growth, power outages, the closure of inefficient steelmaking capacity and tighter credit curbs.

www.bedfordreport.com releases stock research on the Steel Industry so investors can stay ahead of the crowd and make the best investment decisions to maximize their returns. Take a few minutes to register with us free at www.bedfordreport.com and get exclusive access to our numerous analyst reports and industry newsletters.

AK Steel Holding and United States Steel Corporation both predicted weaker results in the July-to-September quarter. The companies cited factors ranging from softer demand, higher costs and lower steel prices to rising supplies that could pressure prices and margins.

Most steel makers say demand will strengthen in the fourth quarter, although that's a time when the industry typically has seasonal slowdown.

Last month AK Steel said its second-quarter profit was $33.1 million, or 30 cents per share, for the three months ended June 30 compared with $26.7 million, or 24 cents per share, a year ago. US Steel reported second-quarter 2011 net operating profit of $1.33 per share versus a net operating loss of 17 cents in the year-ago quarter.

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