Allegheny Technologies shares slid 3.4 percent Wednesday after the Pittsburgh specialty metals producer posted sharply lower second quarter earnings and sales. The company blamed lackluster demand for its stainless steel and weak global economic growth.
Net income totaled $4.4 million, or 4 cents per share, on sales of $1.14 billion vs. earnings of $56.4 million, or 53 cents per share, and sales of $1.36 billion in the year-ago quarter.
Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg were expecting net income of 14 cents per share and sales of $1.21 billion.
Allegheny Technologies' shares fell as low as $25.60 Wednesday before finishing at $26.92, off 97 cents. They are down 11 percent this year.
In a prepared statement, president and CEO Rich Harshman said a weak U.S. economy, the European recession and slower growth in China, India and other developing countries dented demand and put pressure on prices paid by the commercial aerospace industry and other large customers.
"As we look ahead to the second half of 2013, we are not seeing any significant signs of changes in market conditions," he said.
Mr. Harshman said he expects the uncertain near-term economic outlook will keep many customers cautious.
During a conference call with analysts, Mr. Harshman said the company's $1.2 billion rolling and processing mill in Brackenridge is on budget and schedule. The new plant is expected to be completed by the end of the year and commissioning will occur next year, he said. It will expand the types of products the company offers, shorten production times, reduce costs and improve profit margins, Mr. Harshman said.
"It basically puts us back in the game to compete," he said.
Mr. Harshman said the Brackenridge project will account for about 90 percent of the $575 million the metals producer expects to spend on capital projects this year.
Len Boselovic: email@example.com or 412-263-1941.