For the second time in a week, a Wall Street analyst has downgraded a major U.S. steel stock. This time, it’s United States Steel Corporation (NYSE: X) on the chopping block.
Goldman Sachs analyst Matthew Korn downgraded U.S. Steel from Neutral to Sell and lowered his price target from $17 to $11. Korn also made the following adjustments to his steel price targets:
- AK Steel Holding Corporation (NYSE: AKS) reiterated at Sell, target dropped from $2.25 to $1.50.
- Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co (NYSE: RS) reiterated at Neutral, target dropped from $96 to $93.
- Steel Dynamics, Inc. (NASDAQ: STLD) reiterated at Buy, target dropped from $44 to $36.
- Nucor Corporation (NYSE: NUE) reiterated at Buy, target dropped from $70 to $59.
- Stelco Holdings Inc (OTC: STZHF) reiterated at Neutral, target dropped from C$18 TO C$17.
- Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCHN) reiterated at Neutral, target dropped from $27 to $25.
Less than a week after Bank of America downgraded Nucor, Korn said Tuesday weakening demand and plentiful supply are creating a drag on steel prices that will weigh on the steel stock group.
“Weakening demand crossed with stubbornly high output from domestic mills has dragged steel sheet prices down to their lowest levels since 2016, and recent moves by the Trump Administration to weaken the Section 232 tariffs have contributed to expectations of ample available supply in the US market,” Korn wrote in a note.
For U.S. steel specifically, Korn said lower steel prices will likely lead to additional earnings cuts and could even put pressure on the company’s bloated balance sheet. U.S. Steel recently announced a $1.2 billion investment in its Mon Valley Works facility that is being funded almost entirely by new debt. Korn is projecting $1.5 billion per year in capex for U.S. Steel from 2019 through 2021 versus just $645 million per year in operating cash generation.
U.S. Steel shares traded around $12.78 at time of publication.
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