October 25, 2011 / 2:13 PM / in 6 years

U.S. Steel, AK Steel shares drop on gloomy forecast

Oct 25 (Reuters) - Shares of two major U.S. steelmakers fell sharply on Tuesday on gloomy industry expectations for the rest of the year.

In morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange, AK Steel AKS.N was down 13.6 percent at $7.47, while U.S. Steel X.N fell 6.8 percent to $23.08.

Both companies earlier reported third-quarter results that beat Wall Street estimates, but which also showed a deterioration from the second quarter.

U.S. Steel said it expects to report lower operating results in the fourth quarter for its North American flat-rolled and European operations as a result of slow and uneven economic recovery in those regions.

AK Steel did not even give a forecast for the fourth quarter, citing uncertainty and volatility in the U.S. economy and other markets.

Analyst Mark Parr, of KeyBanc Capital Markets, said U.S. Steel’s fourth-quarter outlook implied lower EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, that Wall Street expectations.

“But we believe investors had not built much faith in fourth-quarter expectations given the recent declines in flat-rolled pricing realizations and choppy macro data,” Parr wrote in a research note.

Reporting by Steve James, editing by Dave Zimmerman

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