Jan 27 (Reuters) - AK Steel Holding Corp, the fourth-largest U.S. steelmaker by market capitalization, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by strong demand from automakers.
Shares of the company rose as much as 8 percent in morning trading.
The company, which supplies steel products to Ford Motor Co , General Motors Co and other car makers, gets almost half of its revenue from the industry.
U.S. auto sales rose 4.6 percent to 10.8 percent in the fourth quarter.
The West Chester, Ohio-based steelmaker also benefited from it acquisition of Severstal's Dearborn unit in Michigan in September.
Shipments rose to 2.0 million tons in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 from 1.4 million tons a year earlier.
AK Steel makes flat-rolled carbon, stainless and electrical steels, and tubular products for car makers, industrial and construction companies and utilities.
Net profit attributable to AK Steel rose 62 percent in the quarter.
Excluding items, the company earned 14 cents per share, handsomely beating the average analyst estimate of 7 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Net sales rose 36 percent to $2.0 billion, almost in line with the estimated $1.99 billion.
The company's shares were up 3.7 percent at $4.20 on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.
Up to Monday's close, they had fallen about 32 percent in the past 52 weeks, more than the 10.3 percent fall by the S&P 500 steel index. (Reporting by Rohit T.K. in Bengaluru; Editing by Robin Paxton and Don Sebastian)