It probably has been the most discussed economic and political story of 2018, and it is one likely to stay front and center for some time. After years of huge trade imbalances with our trading partners, and years of unbalanced tariffs on many of our manufactured goods, massive tariffs have been put on foreign products destined for the United States, and that includes steel and aluminum.
How long and how deep the trade war between the United States and its trading partners will go is anybody’s guess, but one thing is for sure. Demand for steel in the growing economy is present, and in a new report, Deutsche Bank stays positive on five top companies. The report said this:
The market capitalization for our Steel & Service Center coverage has declined 7% since early June due to concerns over trade frictions, peak pricing, incremental domestic supply and Section 232 leakage through product exclusions/country exemptions. We recognize that we are at a higher point in the cycle, but our price targets are based on more ‘normalized’ 2019 earnings estimates using steel price forecasts significantly below current spot pricing.
Here are Deutsche Bank’s Buy-rated companies in order of preference.
This lesser known stock provides solid value for investors at current trading levels. Commercial Metals Co. (NYSE: CMC) manufactures, recycles and markets steel and metal products and related materials and services in the United States and internationally.
As one of the leading suppliers to the nonresidential construction sector, Commercial Metals has revived as that area of the market has picked up. The U.S. Architecture Billings Index (ABI), an economic indicator that provides 9-to-12-month growth forecast of nonresidential construction spending activity, which has shown very consistent growth, and that bodes well for the company.
Commercial Metals shareholders are paid a 2.16% dividend. The Deutsche Bank price target on the shares is $28, while the Wall Street consensus target is $25.80. The shares traded Tuesday morning at $22.50.
This top steel company could do very well if the economy continues to pick up and the administration’s infrastructure push comes back to the forefront. Nucor Corp. (NYSE: NUE) is one of North America’s largest steel producers, with almost 27 million tons of finished steel capacity at 23 mini-mills throughout the United States. The company’s downstream steel products business includes rebar fabrication, steel joists/deck, cold finished bars, fasteners, building systems and wire mesh. Nucor also has 5 million tons of scrap processing capacity.
Nucor has always kept a very conservative balance sheet and is poised for slow but steady growth next year and beyond, especially if a huge infrastructure build-out becomes a reality. In addition, global weather catastrophes have also helped continue to drive the need for steel products.
Nucor investors receive a very solid 2.37% dividend. Deutsche Bank has a $73 price target, while the consensus price target is posted at $77.70. The stock was last seen trading at $65.05 a share.
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