|this from Barron's friday. should be good for steel in the coming days.|
U.S. Steel: Catch Up Time!One team of analysts contends that higher steel prices could help U.S. Steel bounce back.
Aug. 25, 2017 1:44 p.m. ET
Shares of U.S. Steel ( X) have lost a quarter of their value this year, but with steel prices heading higher one team of analysts call it "well positioned for the short-term 'catch up trade.'"
ILLUSTRATION: AKOS STILLER/BLOOMBERG
That would be BMO analystsDavid Gagliano andMatt Cartoceti, who see steel makers pushing prices higher to account for higher input costs, something that would help so-called mini-mills like Steel Dynamics( STLD) and Nucor ( NUE), but U.S. Steel as well. They explain:
We expect the positive pricing momentum in the U.S. to continue into September, primarily due to higher input costs (scrap, iron ore, met coal, and meaningfully higher graphite electrode costs), which collectively open the door for producers (particularly the mini-mills) to attempt to push through additional price increases. For 4Q, early signals suggest a plateau in prices (stagnant lead times and end-market demand, and increasing inventories). However, in our view, downward pricing risk is limited unless the recent trend of declining imports reverses in 4Q17. Regarding the stocks, in our view, the steel equities remain inexpensive on lower than spot price assumptions, trading at 6.2x/5.3x 2017E/2018E EBITDA, based on representative HRC prices of $610/t in 2H17, and $600/t in 2018. Long-term preference remains STLD, while X is well positioned for the short-term ' catch up trade' in our view.Shares of U.S. Steel have ticked up 0.1% to $24.84 at 1:35 p.m. today, while Steel Dynamics has gained 1.8% to $34.72, Nucor has advanced 0.2% to $54.69, and AK Steel ( AKS), which raised steel prices this week, has dipped 0.1% to $5.28.