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US Steel Companies Are Upbeat, Analysts Look the Other Way

Mohit Oberoi, CFA - Author
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Nov. 9 2018, Updated 11:05 a.m. ET

Steel companies

Steel companies sounded upbeat about the US steel industry’s outlook during their third-quarter earnings calls. While Nucor (NUE), Steel Dynamics (STLD), and U.S. Steel Corporation (X) have announced share buybacks, Cleveland-Cliffs (CLF) has reinstated its dividend. Let’s see what leading steel companies said about the US steel industry’s health.

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U.S. Steel

While U.S. Steel Corporation (X) admitted that steel buyers held back their purchases recently, David Burritt, U.S. Steel Corporation’s CEO, said, “We feel that things are coming back in line.” He also said, “In fact, I guess in the last couple weeks, we’ve seen some—the price drop as more stabilized and headed in the opposite direction. So clearly, to us, that was a temporary slowdown. And we do think things are coming back and setting a good stage for another strong year in 2019.”

Roger Newport, AK Steel’s (AKS) CEO, said that “demand for our products remain strong overall and market conditions remain favorable.” The company expects the 2018 North America light vehicle production rates to be similar to 2017.

Nucor

According to Nucor, “The continued strength of the U.S. economy is the primary catalyst for our earnings growth. Tax and regulatory reform, along with a robust domestic energy sector, are driving this economy. 23 of the 24 end-use markets we monitor are experiencing stable to increasing demand.”

While steel companies sounded optimistic about the US steel industry’s outlook, several analysts downgraded steel stocks after their third-quarter earnings. Read Analysts Maintain the Status Quo on Steel Stocks to see how analysts changed their ratings on steel stocks after their third-quarter earnings.

Next, we’ll see how steel tariffs are impacting downstream industries.

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