Wednesday March 10, 2021, 18:04:40

Steel: Adjusting Ratings, Raising Price Targets and Revising Estimates Following Strong Survey Results

By Chris D. Olin

We rearranged the steel coverage group investment ratings to account for recent trading strength, the divergence between the closing prices and price targets, and higher earnings outlook(s). Today’s actions were triggered by the better-than-expected carbon steel survey results and review of future market drivers. Among the major changes, we upgraded Nucor (NUE) after considering the new earnings outlook and the rising potential for a stimulus trading boost. At the same time, we lowered STLD and RS to OUTPERFORM (versus Strong Buy) following the recent surge in trading. While still positive on these two names, we would be less aggressive. Finally, we referred to the surprising level of bullishness building throughout the channel and strong survey data points. The most interesting takeaway involved steel contacts raising their year-end HRC price forecast by $100-125/ton. Continue reading

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Thursday December 17, 2020, 12:43:31

Steeling The Signals: December Update

By Chris D. Olin

Broad-based indications of strength are evident throughout the steel channels and there appears to be increasing probability of upward movement in spot market prices (looking out 3-4 quarters). The contact narrative shifted to the unusual carbon sheet and plate supply constraints, heading into a normally seasonal-slow demand period, and future production deficit anxieties.
Nucor Corporation (NUE) issued earnings outlook that may be considered disappointing by The Street. Management provided a 4Q20 EPS guidance range of $1.02-1.07. The language within this morning’s release regarding Steel Mill trends aligns with the feedback collected from our checks. We also heard from Steel Dynamics (STLD) today, which issued an adjusted 4Q20 guidance range of $0.80-0.84, beating expectations. Continue reading

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Thursday August 20, 2020, 09:00:03

Steel: Pending Scrap Price Change + Supply Constraints * Price Increases = Trading Opportunity

By Chris D. Olin

We are calling a bottom and a carbon steel market inflection (and pricing). This is the main driver behind today’s positive trading call on the steel coverage group: Upgrades of Steel Dynamics (STLD) and Nucor Corporation (NUE) and a higher target price applied to Reliance Steel & Alum (RS). Continue reading

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