Nucor Co. (NUE) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Nucor Co. (NYSE:NUE) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Nucor’s profits surged year over year in first-quarter 2017 on higher sales. However, its earnings fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Revenues rose by double digits and topped expectations. The company expects earnings to rise sequentially in the second quarter. Nucor remains committed to expand its production capabilities and grow its business through strategic acquisitions. The company is also seeing continued momentum in the automotive market. The company's diversified consumer base should also benefit it by preventing it from being highly dependent on a particular end market sector. However, Nucor has underperformed the Zacks categorized Steel-Producers industry over a year. Nucor still faces soft demand in certain markets including energy. The U.S. steel industry is also not out of the woods yet given persistent risk of cheap imports and low capacity utilization.”

Other research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $68.00 price target on shares of Nucor in a research report on Monday, April 3rd. Jefferies Group LLC restated a buy rating and set a $75.00 price objective (down from $77.00) on shares of Nucor in a research report on Wednesday, April 19th. Longbow Research initiated coverage on Nucor in a research report on Tuesday, May 9th. They set a neutral rating on the stock. Barclays PLC restated a buy rating and set a $73.00 price objective on shares of Nucor in a research report on Monday. Finally, Macquarie upgraded Nucor from an underperform rating to a neutral rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $55.00 to $62.00 in a research report on Monday, April 24th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $68.22.

Analyst Recommendations for Nucor (NYSE:NUE)

Shares of Nucor (NYSE:NUE) traded up 1.79% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $56.88. The company had a trading volume of 1,132,359 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $18.15 billion, a PE ratio of 17.14 and a beta of 1.45. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $59.44 and a 200 day moving average price of $60.29. Nucor has a 12 month low of $44.81 and a 12 month high of $68.00.

Nucor (NYSE:NUE) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 20th. The basic materials company reported $1.11 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $4.82 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.67 billion. Nucor had a return on equity of 9.32% and a net margin of 4.53%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 29.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.27 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Nucor will post $4.53 EPS for the current year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, May 11th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 31st were paid a $0.3775 dividend. This represents a $1.51 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.70%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, March 29th. Nucor’s dividend payout ratio is currently 65.94%.

In other news, CFO James D. Frias sold 52,631 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.57, for a total transaction of $3,293,121.67. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 174,037 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,889,495.09. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Raymond S. Napolitan, Jr. sold 12,400 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.74, for a total value of $790,376.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 73,885 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,709,429.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 80,263 shares of company stock worth $5,021,549. Insiders own 0.63% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. raised its position in shares of Nucor by 3.5% in the third quarter. TCI Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 2,070 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $102,000 after buying an additional 70 shares during the period. FNY Partners Fund LP purchased a new position in shares of Nucor during the fourth quarter valued at about $107,000. Advantage Investment Management LLC raised its position in shares of Nucor by 164.9% in the first quarter. Advantage Investment Management LLC now owns 1,854 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 1,154 shares during the period. Ledyard National Bank purchased a new position in shares of Nucor during the first quarter valued at about $122,000. Finally, Massmutual Trust Co. FSB ADV purchased a new position in shares of Nucor during the fourth quarter valued at about $127,000. 76.41% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Nucor Company Profile

Nucor Corporation (Nucor) manufactures steel and steel products. The Company produces direct reduced iron (DRI) for use in its steel mills. It operates in three segments: steel mills, steel products and raw materials. The steel mills segment produces and distributes sheet steel (hot-rolled, cold-rolled and galvanized), plate steel, structural steel (wide-flange beams, beam blanks, H-piling and sheet piling) and bar steel (blooms, billets, concrete reinforcing bar, merchant bar, wire rod and special bar quality).

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