Steel Companies’ 2Q15 Earnings: A Comparative Analysis


Sep. 3 2015, Updated 2:38 p.m. ET

Steel companies’ 2Q15 earnings

The 2Q15 earnings season is nearly over. Most steel companies have reported their 2Q15 earnings. In this series, we’ll explore some of the key highlights of major steel companies’ 2Q15 earnings.

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Most steel companies reported higher steel shipments in 2Q15 compared to 1Q15, as you can see in the above graph. Please note that we’ve looked at quarter-over-quarter rather than year-over-year change. Both AK Steel and Steel Dynamics acquired steel plants last year, so looking at year-over-year figures would show a steep increase in shipments for these companies.

AK Steel’s (AKS) shipments rose 3% quarter-over-quarter in 2Q15. Strong demand from the automobile sector, which is AK Steel’s largest customer segment, boosted the company’s 2Q15 shipments. To add to that, AK Steel made more shipments in the spot market.

Nucor’s (NUE) 2Q15 steel shipments to outside customers rose 7% in 2Q15 compared to the previous quarter. Currently, Nucor forms 2.73% of the Materials Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLB) and 1.51% of the SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY).

Steel Dynamics’ 2Q15 shipments rose by a healthy 15% compared to the previous quarter. According to Steel Dynamics, the higher shipments were attributable to the growth in value add steel shipments. Volumes from its existing customers also picked up during the quarter.

ArcelorMittal’s global steel shipments rose 2.6% quarter-over-quarter in 2Q15, while the increase in its NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) was ~5% during this period.

US Steel’s shipments fell in 2Q15

U.S. Steel Corporation (X) was a notable exception, and its 2Q15 steel shipments fell 5% quarter-over-quarter. However, the fall in U.S. Steel’s 2Q15 shipments was largely due to less demand for tubular steel products. Shipments of U.S. Steel’s Tubular Segment fell 58% in 2Q15 compared to the previous quarter.

The shipments for US Steel’s Flat-Rolled segment actually rose ~4% in 2Q15.

In the next part of this series, we’ll look at the other key highlights of steel companies’ 2Q15 financial performance.


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