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What: Shares of AK Steel Holding Corporation (NYSE:AKS) jumped as much as 11% today after it reported first-quarter earnings.
So what: Revenue in the quarter jumped 27% to $1.75 billion, which was slightly ahead of estimates. But the company's net loss more than tripled to $306.3 million, or $1.72 per share. Even on an adjusted basis, which pulls out one-time items like a $256.3 million impairment on its investment in Magnetation LLC, the company lost $0.28 per share, $0.03 worse than estimates.
Now what: Management blamed a decline in selling price per ton from $1,096 a year ago to $999 in the quarter on what it believes are "unfairly traded foreign steel imports." While that might be the case, AK Steel was still able to grow volumes enough to more than overcome the decline in prices.
Lower sale prices may not be a good sign, but if they improve and AK Steel and others are able to get the government to clamp down on imports, there's significant upside available. That's what investors are focusing on today, although I would like to see some evidence of a financial turnaround before buying in.
Travis Hoium has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.