Overview of Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co.



History of Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. 

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. (RS) was established in 1939 as a distributor of steel reinforcing bars in California. The company has grown multifold since, both organically and through a focused acquisition strategy. Reliance Steel & Aluminum came up with its initial public offering (or IPO) in 1994. It is listed on NYSE. This year marks Reliance Steel & Aluminum’s 75th anniversary.

Reliance Steel & Aluminum is a Fortune 500 company. It’s been named on Fortune’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” list since 2007.

key products

The largest metal service center in North America

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Reliance Steel & Aluminum is North America’s largest metals service center. A metals service center acquires primary products like carbon steel, aluminum, stainless steel, brass, copper, titanium, and alloy steel from metals producers. It also processes these products to customers’ specifications. This means producing custom lengths, widths, shapes, and surface characteristics for each customer.

The business model does involve owning steel mills and distribution and processing of metal products. Reliance Steel & Aluminum also provides value-added metal processing services.

The key products of Reliance Steel

The chart above shows key products for Reliance Steel. As you can see, carbon steel products make up more than half of the net sales at the company. Other major products are aluminum and stainless steel, each making around 15% of the sales. It also offers brass, copper, titanium, and alloy steel products to its customers.

After analyzing the revenue generated by different product categories, we will look at the geographical reach and diversified operations of Reliance Steel in the next part of the series.

Please note that we are presenting an overview of Reliance Steel & Aluminum and comparing it with other steel companies operating in the U.S. These other companies include ArcelorMittal (MT), United States Steel Corporation (X), and Nucor Corporation (NUE). The industry can also be accessed through the SPDR S&P Metals and Mining ETF (XME).


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