Talking Numbers

This 112 year-old company outperformed Tesla in the last 6 months – and it’s still a buy: Analysts

Talking Numbers

It's up more than 50% in the last 90 days and it has beaten highflyers like Tesla over the last six months. Oh, and it's over a century old.

What company was started by a billionaire innovator and is up 50% in just the last three months?

If you answered Tesla, you would be wrong.

In fact, US Steel – the company JP Morgan started after merging Carnegie Steel with two other steel giants – is back. The company once synonymous with American industrial production – and industrial decline – is roaring back. Well, its stock is, at least.

Shares in the world's 13th-largest steel producer have been on a tear as of late. And it was just upgraded earlier this week by Morgan Stanley. In their most recent research report, analysts Evan Kurtz, Alexander Levy, and Marcus Lindberg write, "We are upgrading X [US Steel] to OW [overweight] on the view that the company can improve margins by cutting costs in the context of a modestly improving US supply-demand environment."

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Morgan Stanley's bases its ratings on a $3 per share earnings estimate for 2014, about three times the market's consensus number. Their target share price is $35. As of Thursday's close, shares in US Steel were at $27.15.

All this doesn't mean US Steel has been a cakewalk in 2013 for its more long-term investors. Year-to-date, it's up only 14%, far underperforming the S&P 500. And, if you bought shares in the middle of September 2008, you would have lost 80% of your investment.

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But, are the analysts at Morgan Stanley right about US Steel's future?

On CNBC's Street Signs' Talking Numbers segment, US Steel is analyzed from the fundamentals and the technicals. Looking at the stock's fundamentals is Marc Lichtenfled, Chief Income Strategist at The Oxford Club. On the charts is Talking Numbers contributor Richard Ross, Global Technical Strategist at Auerbach Grayson.

To see what Lichtenfeld and Ross think is next for US Steel, watch the video above.

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