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Allegheny Technologies says losses will be bigger

| Thursday, April 4, 2002

Allegheny Technologies Inc. said Wednesday that first-quarter losses will be higher than expected, as the specialty metals manufacturer tries to rebound from a prolonged and costly labor strike at an Oregon plant and low sales of tungsten-based products.

The Pittsburgh-based specialty steel maker said it expects a loss of 13 cents to 15 cents a share, more than its previous estimate of a 10-cent loss. Allegheny Technologies had net income of $6.4 million, or 8 cents, in the year-earlier period.

Allegheny Technologies, parent of specialty steel producer Allegheny Ludlum, is expected to release its first-quarter results April 17. The company's stock closed yesterday at $15.64, down 24 cents a share.

The company said first-quarter results were affected by costs related to a seven-month strike by about 640 United Steelworkers union members at the company's Wah Cheng operation in Albany, Ore. The dispute ended March 21 after steelworkers ratified a new six-year contract. The company also said sales of tungsten-based products, which are used to make industrial cutting tools, were lower than expected.

Separately, Allegheny Ludlum, the company's flat-rolled stainless steel producing unit, said it will raise prices by about 4 to 6 percent on all stainless steel continuous-mill-plate flat-rolled products that are 60 inches wide or less. The price increase will go into affect Saturday, and will be accomplished through a reduction of discounts by 3 percentage points. The current raw material surcharge formula remains in place.

Allegheny Ludlum employs 4,500 workers at melting and finishing shops in Brackenridge and Natrona, in Allegheny County, and Vandergrift, West Leechburg, Bagdad (near Leechburg) and a melt shop in Latrobe, Westmoreland County. The company also operates a plate finishing plant in Washington and the Steckel Mill at Houston, both in Washington County.

Allegheny Technologies employs 10,700 workers companywide.

Separately, Coraopolis-based J&L Specialty Steel Inc., another stainless producer, also said it will increase prices on all continuous mill plate products, effective with shipments on or after Sunday. The company said discounts will be reduced by 3 percentage points, and current raw material surcharge mechanisms will remain in effect.

J&L Specialty Steel, a subsidiary of Arcelor of Luxembourg, produces flat-rolled, stainless steel products at plants in Midland, Beaver County, and Louisville, Ohio.

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