Short Interest in AK Steel Holding Co. (AKS) Expands By 9.9%

AK Steel Holding Co. (NYSE:AKS) was the recipient of a significant increase in short interest during the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 58,274,442 shares, an increase of 9.9% from the January 15th total of 53,014,226 shares. Currently, 18.9% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 12,478,829 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 4.7 days.

A number of research firms have issued reports on AKS. Morgan Stanley downgraded AK Steel from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $2.80 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Monday, January 28th. Macquarie lowered shares of AK Steel from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $3.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Tuesday, January 29th. ValuEngine lowered shares of AK Steel from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 24th. Clarkson Capital cut shares of AK Steel from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 16th. Finally, Cowen started coverage on AK Steel in a research report on Tuesday, January 8th. They set a “market perform” rating and a $2.50 target price on the stock. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $3.76.

In related news, CEO Roger K. Newport acquired 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 27th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $3.03 per share, for a total transaction of $30,300.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the chief executive officer now directly owns 461,297 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,397,729.91. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Company insiders own 1.13% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AKS. JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its stake in shares of AK Steel by 62.0% during the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 9,833,600 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $48,184,000 after acquiring an additional 3,763,963 shares during the last quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC boosted its stake in AK Steel by 374.7% in the 3rd quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 2,908,497 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $14,252,000 after purchasing an additional 2,295,750 shares during the period. BlueMountain Capital Management LLC boosted its position in AK Steel by 212.9% in the third quarter. BlueMountain Capital Management LLC now owns 1,521,721 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $7,456,000 after buying an additional 1,035,371 shares in the last quarter. Ashler Capital LLC purchased a new position in AK Steel during the third quarter worth about $4,772,000. Finally, Congress Asset Management Co. MA purchased a new stake in AK Steel during the 3rd quarter valued at $4,319,000. 65.71% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

AKS opened at $2.98 on Thursday. The stock has a market cap of $940.32 million, a P/E ratio of 4.66, a PEG ratio of 1.04 and a beta of 2.73. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.64, a quick ratio of 0.69 and a current ratio of 1.95. AK Steel has a fifty-two week low of $2.05 and a fifty-two week high of $6.14.

AK Steel (NYSE:AKS) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, January 28th. The basic materials company reported $0.16 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.11 by $0.05. AK Steel had a return on equity of 54.01% and a net margin of 2.73%. The firm had revenue of $1.68 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.70 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted ($0.06) EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 12.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that AK Steel will post 0.56 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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AK Steel Company Profile

AK Steel Holding Corporation, through its subsidiary, AK Steel Corporation, produces flat-rolled carbon, stainless, and electrical steels, and tubular products in the United States and internationally. It produces flat-rolled carbon steel products, including coated, cold-rolled, and hot-rolled carbon steel products; grain-oriented specialty stainless and electrical steels; and carbon and stainless steel tubing products.

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