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ATI’s shares downgraded on weak market prospects

Keywords: Tags  ATI, Allegheny Technologies, stainless, titanium, Cowen & Co., Gautam Khanna, Mark Hokanson, Frank Haflich

LOS ANGELES — Allegheny Technologies Inc.’s (ATI’s) common stock has been downgraded by investment firm Cowen & Co. LLC due to "anemic" prospects in some of its major markets.

Cowen analysts Gautam Khanna and Mark Hokanson lowered their rating of ATI’s shares to "neutral" from "outperform," citing the impact of an "anemic" U.S. economic outlook on ATI’s stainless markets and pricing trends in the spot titanium market. Analysts also cited "still-elevated" aerospace titanium inventories at the Boeing Commercial Airplane unit of Chicago-based Boeing Co. and "diminished" opportunities in the nuclear markets that support ATI’s exotic alloys business.

Among the factors likely to hobble ATI’s pricing power in the spot titanium market are softer demand in the nonaerospace industrial market, dwindling pressure on upstream costs from rutile inflation and soft scrap pricing.

ATI’s peak earnings "power" now appears to be under $4 per share in 2015 vs. its earlier estimate of $5 to $6 per share, while Wall Street’s current estimates for 2013 earnings carry "severe downward revision risk," Cowen said.

Pittsburgh-based ATI said it doesn’t comment on securities analysts’ ratings.

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