U.S. Steel gets routed after analyst sees most upside priced in

Shares of U.S. Steel (X) are getting crushed after Vertical Group analyst Gordon Johnson downgraded shares to Sell from Hold with a $23 price target. The analyst said in a research note that he believes the upside to U.S. HRC prices and steel stocks is largely behind after Trump's tariff decision on March 8. The analyst, who thinks investors are shifting focus to how much of the desired benefits from the 232 ruling could actually pass through to company earnings, also believes the realized upside to earnings could underwhelm. He cut his price target on U.S. Steel shares to $23 from $41. UPDATED GUIDANCE: After the close of trading on Monday, U.S. Steel said it continues to believe Q1 EBITDA will be approximately $250M. Based on the company's assessment of potential market conditions resulting from the Section 232 actions, and increased shipments from Granite City Works, the company currently expects FY18 EBITDA of approximately $1.7B. The aforementioned analyst Gordon Johnson was not impressed with the updated guidance the company gave, adding to his report that "updated 2018 guidance last night without knowing the full scope of the exclusions/exemptions that the President will make in the final 232 tariff ruling." The analyst believes the guidance given by the company "likely represents peak" EBITDA in the " company's mind." PRICE ACTION: Shares of U.S. Steel are down 8.4% to $39.91 in afternoon trading.

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