AK Steel Holding (AKS) Sees Large Increase in Short Interest

AK Steel Holding (NYSE:AKS) was the recipient of a large increase in short interest in March. As of March 29th, there was short interest totalling 84,830,924 shares, an increase of 10.0% from the March 15th total of 77,147,806 shares. Approximately 27.5% of the company’s stock are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 16,530,842 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 5.1 days.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Masters Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in AK Steel during the fourth quarter valued at about $5,660,000. Royce & Associates LP lifted its holdings in AK Steel by 18.8% during the fourth quarter. Royce & Associates LP now owns 2,176,109 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $12,317,000 after purchasing an additional 345,000 shares during the last quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. lifted its holdings in AK Steel by 5.9% during the fourth quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 749,320 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $4,241,000 after purchasing an additional 41,815 shares during the last quarter. Pinebridge Investments L.P. lifted its holdings in AK Steel by 52.4% during the fourth quarter. Pinebridge Investments L.P. now owns 302,563 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,712,000 after purchasing an additional 104,043 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Two Sigma Securities LLC lifted its holdings in AK Steel by 139.0% during the fourth quarter. Two Sigma Securities LLC now owns 55,996 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $317,000 after purchasing an additional 32,567 shares during the last quarter. 67.77% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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AKS has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of AK Steel from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $7.50 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, January 8th. Cowen restated a “hold” rating and set a $7.00 price target on shares of AK Steel in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. Vetr lowered shares of AK Steel from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $6.34 price target for the company. in a research report on Thursday, March 8th. Jefferies Group lowered shares of AK Steel from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and reduced their price target for the company from $6.64 to $6.50 in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. Finally, Longbow Research upgraded shares of AK Steel from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price target for the company from $5.53 to $7.00 in a research report on Wednesday, December 20th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $6.65.

NYSE AKS opened at $4.47 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $1,415.62, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.42, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.42 and a beta of 2.89. AK Steel has a 52 week low of $4.00 and a 52 week high of $7.54. The company has a current ratio of 1.83, a quick ratio of 0.69 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 16.33.

AK Steel (NYSE:AKS) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, January 30th. The basic materials company reported ($0.06) EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.13) by $0.07. The business had revenue of $1.50 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.46 billion. AK Steel had a net margin of 0.16% and a return on equity of 71.24%. The company’s revenue was up 5.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.25 earnings per share. analysts anticipate that AK Steel will post 0.63 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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About AK Steel

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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