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Steel Companies’ 1Q18 Report Card: Gains and Losses

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Steel companies’ 1Q18 report card

The US steel industry has seen considerable action in 1Q18. In March, President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on steel imports, acting on the results of the US Department of Commerce’s Section 232 investigation.

The probe, which began in 2017, found that steel imports were a threat to US national security and asked President Trump to act against steel imports.

The Section 232 tariffs and the subsequent escalation in US-China trade frictions took a toll on equity markets. However, broader markets have recouped some of their 2018 losses, with the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA) rising 1.0% year-to-date as of May 11.

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Earnings season

We’re now reaching the end of the 1Q18 earnings season, and most steel companies have released their 1Q18 financial results. Steel Dynamics was the first major steel company to release its earnings on April 18. Nucor’s (NUE) earnings release followed on April 19. U.S. Steel Corporation (X) released its 1Q18 earnings on April 25, and AK Steel (AKS) released its earnings on April 30. ArcelorMittal (MT) released its earnings on May 11.

Series overview

In this series, we’ll explore the highlights of major steel companies’ 1Q18 earnings results. We’ll compare their performances in terms of key financial metrics to see which companies performed better in the quarter. We’ll also look at the guidances and outlooks provided by these steel companies.

Let’s start by looking at steel companies’ 1Q18 shipment profiles in the next article.

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