AK Steel Holding Co. (AKS) Shares Up 8.6% After Analyst Upgrade

AK Steel Holding Co. (NYSE:AKS) was up 8.6% during trading on Thursday after TheStreet upgraded the stock from a d+ rating to a c rating. The stock traded as high as $6.84 and last traded at $6.82, with a volume of 32,019,184 shares. The stock had previously closed at $6.28.

Several other research analysts have also recently weighed in on AKS. Zacks Investment Research upgraded AK Steel Holding from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $11.00 target price on the stock in a report on Wednesday, January 4th. Credit Suisse Group AG cut AK Steel Holding from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and upped their price target for the stock from $8.00 to $9.50 in a research note on Thursday, January 12th. Citigroup Inc cut AK Steel Holding from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $8.00 price target on the stock. in a research note on Thursday, January 19th. Vetr upgraded AK Steel Holding from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $10.52 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, January 23rd. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $11.50 price objective on shares of AK Steel Holding in a research report on Wednesday, January 25th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating, four have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. AK Steel Holding currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $8.05.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AKS. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in AK Steel Holding by 52,055.2% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 39,293,178 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $282,518,000 after buying an additional 39,217,839 shares during the period. FMR LLC purchased a new stake in AK Steel Holding during the fourth quarter valued at about $49,391,000. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC increased its stake in AK Steel Holding by 25.6% in the first quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 16,463,348 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $118,371,000 after buying an additional 3,357,464 shares during the period. Teachers Advisors LLC increased its stake in AK Steel Holding by 63.5% in the first quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 8,114,044 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $58,340,000 after buying an additional 3,150,282 shares during the period. Finally, Norges Bank purchased a new stake in AK Steel Holding during the fourth quarter valued at about $30,527,000. 62.21% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

The company has a market capitalization of $1.75 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.51 and a beta of 2.60. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $6.35 and a 200-day moving average of $8.13. AK Steel Holding also saw some unusual options trading activity on Friday. Investors purchased 3,160 call options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 228% compared to the average daily volume of 962 call options.

AK Steel Holding (NYSE:AKS) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 25th. The basic materials company reported $0.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.15 by $0.04. AK Steel Holding had a negative net margin of 0.13% and a negative return on equity of 47.34%. The company had revenue of $1.53 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.49 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted ($0.08) EPS. The business’s revenue was up 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that AK Steel Holding Co. will post $0.66 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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AK Steel Holding Company Profile

AK Steel Holding Corporation is a producer of flat-rolled carbon, stainless and electrical steels, and tubular products through its subsidiary, AK Steel Corporation (AK Steel). The Company also operates blast furnaces and electric arc furnaces. As of December 31, 2016, its operations included eight steelmaking and finishing plants, two coke plants and two tube manufacturing plants across states, including Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and a tube manufacturing plant in Mexico.

12 Month Chart for NYSE:AKS

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