Mon, Oct. 5, 6:25 PM
- Allegheny Tech (NYSE:ATI) and Nucor (NYSE:NUE) are upgraded to Buy from Hold, while AK Steel (NYSE:AKS) and Century Aluminum (NASDAQ:CENX) are downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank, as the firm prefers stocks in the group that do not rely excessively on price hikes and have exposure to growth markets.
- The firm says the upgrades for ATI and NUE are based on valuation, and expects lower anticipated scrap costs to offset the impact of lower steel prices.
- AKS is cut to Hold with a $3 price target, citing its reliance on hikes in spot steel prices over the next 12-18 months as well as uncertainty related to contract negotiations with automotive customers, which accounts for more than 50% of shipments.
- Deutsche Bank's downgrade of CENX is based on lower aluminum pricing and production cutbacks as concern areas.
Fri, Sep. 25, 12:59 PM
- The U.S. International Trade Commission says it finds a reasonable indication that U.S producers are harmed by imports of flat hot-rolled steel products from seven countries, advancing a process that could result in import duties.
- AK Steel (AKS -5.5%), ArcelorMittal (MT -4.7%), Nucor (NUE -0.6%), U.S. Steel (X -4.8%) and Steel Dynamics (STLD -1.4%) have complained the imported goods are being sold too cheaply or have benefited from unfair government subsidies.
- AKS, for one, issues a statement praising the ITC ruling.
Fri, Sep. 18, 5:25 PM
- AK Steel (NYSE:AKS) finished flat among a sea of red in today's trade following its upbeat Q3 guidance, crediting its improved prospects to anticipated higher shipments and lower raw materials costs along with cost reductions and higher operating rates.
- Reiterating a Market Perform rating on the shares, BMO Capital says the guidance likely was driven by lower than expected unit costs, but with prices declining, with higher contract prices vs. spot still flowing through results, and with the sustainability of the unit cost improvements still unknown, the firm's $400M 2016 EBITDA estimate remains unchanged.
- Citigroup maintains an Overweight rating while noting that the recent decline in steel prices and potentially lower LIFO benefits could pressure Q4 results.
Fri, Sep. 18, 9:15 AM
Thu, Sep. 17, 5:37 PM
Thu, Sep. 17, 4:58 PM
- AK Steel (NYSE:AKS) +9.2% AH after issuing a better than expected Q3 outlook, now seeing a loss of $0.02-$0.07/share vs. a $0.36/share loss in Q2 and the analyst consensus estimated loss of $0.24.
- AKS says it expects positive financial effects of higher shipments, lower raw material costs, cost reduction efforts and higher operating rates will partially offset lingering low carbon steel spot market prices.
- AKS sees Q3 shipments of ~1.86M, up ~3% Q/Q, primarily related to increased shipments to the automotive market.
- Expects an average Q3 selling price of ~$910/ton, ~2% lower than Q2, because of lower carbon steel spot market pricing, which the company believes is driven mostly by high levels of unfairly traded foreign steel imports.
Fri, Sep. 11, 6:41 PM
- In a setback for U.S. steel producers, the U.S. Court of International Trade says the Commerce Department should reconsider its calculation of profit, which could change the level of duties imposed last year on imports of tubular steel pipes for the energy sector.
- The ruling is in agreement with South Korean steel producers who complained that the U.S. duties were too high.
- The Commerce Department and U.S. International Trade Commission last year backed a complaint by U.S.-based steel companies including U.S. Steel (NYSE:X).
- Other relevant tickers: AKS, NUE, TS, STLD
Thu, Sep. 10, 3:43 PM
- Investors expecting a V-shaped recovery in steel prices and volumes are likely to be disappointed, BB&T analysts say in initiating U.S. Steel (X -2.1%) and AK Steel (AKS -0.2%) with Hold ratings.
- The firm thinks 2015 represents trough earnings for U.S. Steel, but the ability to generate mid cycle-type earnings is largely dependent on macro factors beyond the company's control; also, while flat rolled and tubular results are close to an inflection point, the firm does not see shipments or pricing returning to 2013-14 levels for the foreseeable future.
- Consensus estimates for AKS appear high, the firm says, expressing concern about the company’s ability to delever its balance sheet, which likely would require an unexpectedly significant improvement in steel fundamentals.
Tue, Sep. 8, 3:59 PM
- AK Steel (AKS -1.1%) is downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $4 price target, cut from $6, at BofA/Merrill, citing a weaker steel price outlook, the likelihood of disappointing H2 volumes, and a more challenged cash flow view ahead; the firm once was among the strong defenders of the company's shares.
- Even as BofA sees lower steel prices as the new normal, it upgrades Reliance Steel (RS +4.1%) to Buy from Neutral, based on the company’s steady track record of free cash flow generation.
Tue, Aug. 11, 5:37 PM
- Six of the biggest U.S. steelmakers - U.S. Steel (NYSE:X), Nucor (NYSE:NUE), AK Steel (NYSE:AKS), ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT), Steel Dynamics (NASDAQ:STLD) and SSAB Enterprises - file another petition asking for tariffs on imports of foreign steel, and warn that China’s devaluation of the yuan could have severe repercussions on their industry.
- The request includes imports of hot-rolled coil, which is used in making cars, from Australia, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands, Turkey and the U.K.; China was not named because the U.S. already has tariffs on hot-rolled imports from China.
- Imports of hot-rolled steel from the seven countries rose 73% during 2012-14, rising to 3.3M tons from 1.9M tons, according to AK Steel.
Tue, Aug. 11, 11:35 AM
- Commodity metals are getting hammered by China's devaluation, with aluminum trading down nearly 2%, copper prices lower by 2.5% and nickel plunging more than 3.5%.
- Hardest hit of the mining stocks is Freeport McMoRan (FCX -14.1%), which has completely surrendered yesterday's 10.8% surge; shares now are down 72% over the past year and 57% YTD.
- Iron ore miners are sharply lower: BHP -5.5%, RIO -4.2%, VALE -7.8%, CLF -7.3%.
- Steel companies: X -9.7%, MT -5.1%, AKS -5.7%, NUE -2.9%, STLD -3.5%, CMC -4%.
- Also: AA -6%, CENX -4.9%, TCK -8.2%, SCCO -4.9%.
- ETFs: XLB, JJC, XME, SLX, PEO, VAW, COPX, DBB, UYM, CU, IYM, JJN, SMN, JJU, PICK, MATL, CPER, JJT, BOM, RJZ, FXZ, PYZ, BOS, FOIL, JJM, LD, BDD
Thu, Jul. 30, 10:34 AM
- AK Steel (AKS +2.6%) is upgraded to Overweight from Neutral with a $5 price target at J.P. Morgan, which believes fundamentals for domestic integrated steel makers have bottomed.
- Steel prices likely have recently hit bottom, and falling imports coupled with stable demand should push steel prices higher throughout the end of the year, the firm says, adding that AK’s Q2 results instead of its Q3 should represent a low for the current cycle.
- While the macro environment remains negative due to the strong dollar, a weaker Chinese economy and weak oil prices, lower imports should push steel prices, and AK’s earnings and stock price higher in the near term, the firm says.
- JPM expects hot-rolled prices to increase to the low $500/ton area by year-end as the import situation sees some improvement and demand remains stable; trade cases should help to reduce imports into the U.S., which in any case is no longer as attractive of a destination for exports given current prices.
Tue, Jul. 28, 2:25 PM
- AK Steel (AKS +13.5%) soars despite a mixed Q2 earnings report, after joining domestic steel producers U.S. Steel (X +5%), Nucor (NUE +2.2%), Steel Dynamics (STLD +6.9%) and Arcelor Mittal (MT +5.4%) in filing a trade case against steel dumping by eight countries related to cold-rolled steel products.
- The news apparently made investors optimistic that AKS can overcome low steel prices, which caused the company to miss Wall Street’s EBITDA forecasts.
- KeyBanc analyst Philip Gibbs notes that based on comments on the AKS earnings conference call, hot-rolled and stainless steel trade cases look likely.
- AKS says Q2 shipments totaled 1.811M tons vs. 1.75M in Q1 and 1.39M in Q2 2014, and expects to generate improved results for Q3 and H2 relative to their comparable periods a year ago, citing anticipated higher shipments, improving carbon steel spot market prices, increased production levels resulting in lower per ton operating costs, and the continuing benefit of lower raw materials costs, particularly iron ore.
- Citi analysts believe AKS likely will continue to struggle to post positive free cash flow absent a sharp price recovery.
Tue, Jul. 28, 8:31 AM
Mon, Jul. 27, 5:30 PM
- AGCO, AHGP, AIXG, AKS, ALLY, AMG, ARG, ARLP, ARW, AUDC, AUO, AXE, BP, BTU, CIT, CMI, CNC, CNX, COMM, CPLA, CRY, CVLT, CYNO, DD, DHI, DHX, ECL, F, FBC, FCH, FDP, FMER, FSS, GLW, GPN, GRUB, ICLR, IPGP, IPI, IR, JBLU, JEC, KEM, LH, LPT, LYB, MAS, MMC, MRK, MZOR, NCI, NLSN, NOV, NTLS, OAK, OFC, PCAR, PCH, PCP, PFE, POR, RAI, RDWR, SALT, SIR, SIRI, ST, SVU, TXT, UPS, UTHR, WAT, WDR, WYN
Tue, Jul. 21, 11:53 AM
- Steel stocks are higher after Steel Dynamics (STLD +6.8%) issues solid Q2 earnings and says it expects improved financial results in H2 driven by reduced steel import volumes and sustained lower scrap costs.
- STLD says it generated $309M in cash flow from operations during Q2, a 32% Q/Q increase.
- Still, Citigroup’s Brian Yu thinks STLD's results hint at tough times for AK Steel (AKS +3%) and U.S. Steel (X +2.1%); with utilization rates at 87% in Q2 vs. the 72% industry average, STLD may have been more aggressive taking share in the quarter, which along with lower engineered bar shipments, could help explain the drop in realized mills pricing and margins.
- Longbow’s David MacGregor argues that "trade cases are the [steel] market’s only hope now."
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