Recent Posts

Nucor Corporation (NUE): Gauging Upside/Downside Against Our Already Aggressive $10+ EPS Forecast For CY21

After raising estimates for the current quarter and year to reflect the better-than-expected mid-quarter guidance issued by the management team last week, we examined some of the larger NUE portfolio drivers, looking to gauge the upside and downside risk as it relates to two major issues: (1) the sustainability of the Section 232 trade protections during a new period of US Presidential leadership; and (2) the upside bias associated with the release of a large infrastructure bill. Starting with a $10.00+ and $8.28/share earnings forecast for CY21 and CY22, respectively, already well above consensus, we calculated roughly $1.75-2.00 of potential earnings upside associated with surging demand for niche carbon steel products dedicated for large-volume public construction projects. Conversely, we assume there to be $1.40-1.50/share of earnings dilution risk should President Joe Biden rescind Section-232 trade protections. This implies a +30% risk/reward profile. Continue reading

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12:50 AM

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

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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6:04 PM

Steeling The Signals: December Update

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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12:43 PM

Nucor Corporation (NUE): Solid 3Q Guidance Without Much Help From Carbon Sheet Or Plate

Nucor Corporation (NUE) kicked off the mini-earnings preview period by issuing a 3Q20 earnings outlook that crushed expectations. Yesterday, the management team offered an EPS guidance range of $0.50-0.55, considerably better than the $0.37 consensus forecast, citing continued strength in Downstream Product volumes/margins and better-than-expected carbon bar and beam mill shipments. Continue reading

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9:00 AM

Steel: Demand Strength Justifies Increase Attempt, But Supply Is Coming – Oh Dear…Born

There appears to be early support for the latest mill price increase attempt on carbon sheet. After reviewing some of the signals coming out of the steel channel this week, we expect at least one-half of the attempted +$40/ton spot adjustment to stick. For the first time since January, our survey is showing a real demand push, in addition to the modest customer sourcing panic developing in the MW region. Continue reading

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9:00 AM

Nucor Corporation (NUE): Initiating Coverage With An UNDERPERFORM Rating

We are initiating coverage on the shares of Nucor Corporation (NUE) with an UNDERPERFORM recommendation and twelve-month target price of $38 (suggesting 11% downside versus the Friday close). Despite the better-than-expected mid-quarter guidance offered by the management team late last week, we are maintaining a cautious view on most of the companies positioned throughout the domestic carbon steel industry, including NUE. Continue reading

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9:00 AM
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