U.S. Prevails in Steel Trade Case with China

The World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled today that the U.S. did not illegally dump a type of specialty steel into the Chinese market beginning in 2010. China imposed 19.5% tariffs on the "grain-oriented electrical steel" made by AK Steel Holding Corp. (NYSE: AKS) and Allegheny Technologies Inc. (NYSE: ATI) and the U.S. filed a trade case in September with the WTO.

Today's decision upheld a decision announced in June that favored the U.S. argument.

AK Steel reports third quarter results next week and is expected to post an EPS loss of $0.35 on revenue of $1.47 billion. Allegheny also reports earnings next week and the consensus estimate calls for EPS of $0.40 on revenue of $1.31 billion.

Steelmaker Nucor Corp. (NYSE: NUE) reported adjusted EPS of $0.45 today on revenue of $4.8 billion, compared with estimates for EPS of $0.41 on revenue of $4.81. But the company's outlook was weak, especially in the construction market.

AK Steel has been struggling with low prices and reduced demand for steel. Allegheny, a specialty steelmaker, has a bit more control over its pricing, but expectations for the third quarter are lower than third quarter 2011 results.

Both AK Steel and Allegheny have seen their share prices rise today. AK Steel is up 0.7% at $5.76 in a 52-week range of $4.44 to $10.33. Allegheny is up 1.7% at $33.75 in a 52-week range of $27.61 to $53.00.

Paul Ausick