Why One Analyst Raised 4 Steel Giants to Buy

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If there was one group of companies that can still benefit from the Trump administration’s policies without a congressional vote, steel makers would have to be on that list. Longbow Research believes that the steel sector is on the path to winning.

A research note from Monday, June 19, selected four would-be U.S. steel winners for the rest of 2017 or beyond. The firm raised its rating to Buy from Neutral based on further government actions acting to boost steel prices ahead. This was after a senior U.S. official commented to Reuters last week about the administration’s investigation on whether imports of foreign steel were hurting steel prices.

Longbow’s Chris Olin conducted channel checks that also suggested that market conditions have finally stabilized. His view now handicaps a favorable Section 232 outcome with odds of 70% to 80%, versus what had just recently been 50-50 odds.

While price target and projected upside data were not available, Longbow’s upgrade brigade in steel stocks is below. Surprisingly, not all the steel stocks unilaterally moved in the same direction. Consensus analyst targets and revenue projections are from Thomson Reuters.

AK Steel Holding Corp. (NYSE: AKS) was raised to Buy and was last seen trading up 2.8% at $6.16 on Monday afternoon. It has a 52-week trading range of $3.87 to $11.39 and a consensus analyst price target of $8.34.

AK Steel has a market cap of $1.9 billion, and it generated $5.88 billion in revenues in 2016. Its revenues are projected to be $6.16 billion in 2017 and $6.25 billion in 2018.

Nucor Corp. (NYSE: NUE) was raised to Buy from Neutral on Monday. Nucor was last seen trading up 1.5% at $55.73. It has a 52-week range of $44.81 to $68.00 and has a consensus price target of $69.83.

Nucor has a $17.8 billion market cap and had $16.2 billion in 2016 revenue. It is expected to have revenue of almost $19.6 billion in 2017 and about $19.7 billion in 2018.

Steel Dynamics Inc. (NASDAQ: STLD) was not responding to Monday’s upgrade to Buy, with its shares down 0.6% at $32.99. Its market cap is right at $8 billion. Steel Dynamics has a 52-week range of $22.79 to $40.17 and a consensus analyst target at $43.54.

Steel Dynamics generated $7.77 billion in 2017 revenue, and it is expected to have revenues of almost $9.4 billion in 2017 and $9.3 billion in 2018.

United States Steel Corp. (NYSE: X) was raised to Buy from Neutral in the Longbow call as well. It has a 52-week range of $14.80 to $41.83 and a consensus price target of $27.23. U.S. Steel was last seen trading up 2.5% at $20.67, and it has a market cap of $3.6 billion.

U.S. Steel generated $10.26 billion in revenues in 2016. Analysts see its revenues at $11.7 billion in 2017 and $12.14 billion in 2018.