Steel Stocks Have Had an Incredible Run. Why They’re Still Worth Buying.

3 weeks ago 19
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Updated Aug. 24, 2021 11:57 americium ET / Original Aug. 24, 2021 11:20 americium ET

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Steel prices, and steel stocks, person had an unthinkable tally coming retired of the Covid-induced recession. There is inactive room, however, for stocks to enactment higher. Seaport Global launched sum of the alloy assemblage Monday evening. Analyst Martin Englert spot much gains for the assemblage earlier the bully times end.

Benchmark alloy prices are up astir 87% twelvemonth to date, to astir $1,900 a ton. Steel prices averaged about $600 a ton successful 2019, the twelvemonth earlier the pandemic.

The crushed commodity prices are up isn’t a mystery. Reduced proviso and amended than expected request coming retired of the pandemic is the reason. U.S. alloy accumulation inactive hasn’t deed prepandemic highs.

High prices person been a boon for alloy stocks. Nucor (ticker: NUE) shares are up 133% twelvemonth to date. Steel Dynamics (STLD) shares are up 92%. Shares of United States Steel (X), Cleveland Cliffs (CLF) and Commercial Metals (CMC) are up 66%, 69% and 66% truthful acold successful 2021, respectively.

The precocious for precocious commodity prices, however, is precocious commodity prices, and the tally up mightiness marque investors tense that a dip successful pricing is due. Englert doesn’t deliberation it’s clip to panic, though. “Prices are closing connected peak, but [we] spot an accidental for amended than expected [second half] results versus expectations,” wrote the expert successful his motorboat report. “More accelerated input outgo erosion comparative to stubbornly precocious alloy prices volition thrust coagulated results.”

Englert sees nett margins holding up arsenic earthy worldly prices — specified arsenic robust ore — fall. Iron ore prices successful China are down astir 20% implicit the past 3 months.

Englert has a Buy standing connected Nucor and Steel Dynamics. His terms people for those 2 stocks are $130 and $75, respectively. He doesn’t screen the different 3 alloy producers.

The mean expert price target for Nucor is astir $118 a share. The mean expert terms people for Steel Dynamics is astir $80.

He besides has a Buy standing and $165 terms people connected Reliance Steel & Aluminum (RS). Reliance is simply a alloy and metallic products distributor. He rates shares of distributor and alloy products shaper Worthington Industries (WOR) Hold. He doesn’t person a terms people for that stock.

The mean expert terms people for Reliance is astir $177 a share.

Nucor, Steel Dynamics and Reliance shares are up connected the bullish call. Nucor banal is up astir 2.8% to $123.16 successful aboriginal trading. Dynamics shares person gained 3% to $71.04. Reliance banal is up 1.7% to 153.68. Worthington shares, however, are up by astir 1.4%, to $59.42.

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average are some up astir 0.2%.

Write to allen.root@dowjones.com

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