AK Steel Reports Financial Results for First Quarter of 2012

West Chester, OH, April 24, 2012—AK Steel (NYSE: AKS) today reported a net loss of $11.8 million, or $0.11 per diluted share of common stock, for the first quarter of 2012 compared to net income of $8.7 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2011 and a net loss of $193.9 million, or $1.76 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2011.  The fourth quarter 2011 loss included a non-cash pre-tax pension corridor charge of $268.1 million, or $1.50 per diluted share.
Net sales for the first quarter of 2012 were $1,508.7 million on shipments of 1,325,900 tons, compared to sales of $1,581.1 million on shipments of 1,423,100 tons for the year-ago first quarter.  The company said its average selling price for the first quarter of 2012 was $1,138 per ton, a 6% increase from the fourth quarter of 2011, and about 3% higher than the first quarter of 2011.  The higher average selling price for first quarter 2012 over first quarter 2011 was primarily due to a richer product mix, increased contract sales and higher prices for certain products.
The company reported an operating profit for the first quarter of 2012 of $4.1 million, or $3 per ton, compared to an operating profit of $19.5 million, or $14 per ton, for the first quarter of 2011 and an operating loss of $300.7 million, or $213 per ton, for the fourth quarter of 2011.  The fourth quarter loss included the $268.1 million, or $190 per ton, pre-tax pension corridor charge.  The 2012 first quarter results include a LIFO credit of $12.4 million, compared to a LIFO credit of $44.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.
“We continued to experience a slow, but steady, improvement in market conditions during the first quarter, which helped AK Steel achieve an operating profit,” said James L. Wainscott, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of AK Steel.  “Additionally, our employees once again turned in outstanding performances in the hallmarks of our company – safety, quality and productivity.” 

The company ended the first quarter of 2012 with $42.3 million of cash and cash equivalents and $840.6 million of availability under the company’s revolving credit facility, for total liquidity of approximately $883 million. 
Second Quarter 2012 Outlook

AK Steel said that it expects to report net income in the second quarter of 2012.  The company added that it intends to provide more detailed second quarter guidance later in the quarter.

Safe Harbor Statement

The statements in this release with respect to future results reflect management’s estimates and beliefs and are intended to be, and hereby are identified as “forward-looking statements” for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “intends,” “plans,” “estimates” and other similar references to future periods typically identify such forward-looking statements.  The company cautions readers that such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those currently expected by management, including those risks and uncertainties discussed in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, as updated in subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Except as required by law, the company disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect future developments or events.

AK Steel

AK Steel produces flat-rolled carbon, stainless and electrical steels, primarily for automotive, infrastructure and manufacturing, construction and electrical power generation and distribution markets.  The company employs about 6,200 men and women in Middletown, Mansfield, Coshocton and Zanesville, Ohio; Butler, Pennsylvania; Ashland, Kentucky; Rockport, Indiana; and its corporate headquarters in West Chester, Ohio.  Additional information about AK Steel is available on the company's web site at www.aksteel.com.
AK Tube LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of AK Steel, employs about 300 men and women in plants in Walbridge, Ohio and Columbus, Indiana.  AK Tube produces carbon and stainless electric resistance welded (ERW) tubular steel products for truck, automotive and other markets.  Additional information about AK Tube LLC is available on its web site at www.aktube.com.
AK Coal Resources, Inc., another wholly-owned subsidiary of AK Steel, owns or leases metallurgical coal reserves in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.  AK Steel also owns 49.9% of Magnetation LLC, a joint venture headquartered in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, which produces iron ore concentrate from previously mined ore reserves.

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