Nucor (NUE) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Nucor (NYSE:NUE) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Wednesday. They currently have $70.00 price target on the basic materials company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Estimates for Nucor for the third quarter and full year have been increasing lately. Nucor has outperformed the industry it belongs to over the past year.  Nucor remains committed to expand production capabilities, which is likely to drive profitable growth and strengthen its position as a low-cost producer. It is also seeing continued momentum in the automotive market. The company is focused on expanding its foothold in the automotive space driven by strong demand. Nucor is also focused on expanding business through strategic acquisitions.”

Several other equities research analysts have also commented on the stock. KeyCorp raised shares of Nucor from a sector weight rating to an overweight rating and set a $77.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, July 24th. Jefferies Financial Group reissued a buy rating and set a $80.00 price objective on shares of Nucor in a research note on Friday, July 13th. Macquarie raised shares of Nucor from a neutral rating to an outperform rating and set a $75.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Thursday, May 17th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of Nucor from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 4th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company. Nucor has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $71.00.

NYSE:NUE opened at $62.58 on Wednesday. Nucor has a one year low of $53.18 and a one year high of $70.48. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.43, a quick ratio of 1.55 and a current ratio of 3.05. The stock has a market cap of $20.11 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.83, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.69 and a beta of 1.54.

Nucor (NYSE:NUE) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 19th. The basic materials company reported $2.07 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $2.10 by ($0.03). Nucor had a return on equity of 16.22% and a net margin of 7.58%. The business had revenue of $6.46 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.47 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.00 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 24.9% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts anticipate that Nucor will post 7.64 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 9th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 28th will be paid a $0.38 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 27th. This represents a $1.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.43%. Nucor’s dividend payout ratio is presently 43.30%.

Nucor declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase program on Thursday, September 6th that permits the company to repurchase $2.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the basic materials company to reacquire up to 10% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, EVP D. Chad Utermark sold 53,483 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $68.49, for a total value of $3,663,050.67. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 155,140 shares in the company, valued at $10,625,538.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider Leon J. Topalian sold 3,115 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.98, for a total transaction of $202,412.70. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 43,370 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,818,182.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 122,443 shares of company stock worth $8,277,404. Insiders own 0.70% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of NUE. Mackay Shields LLC bought a new position in shares of Nucor in the first quarter worth approximately $3,269,000. Financial Gravity Wealth Inc. bought a new position in shares of Nucor in the first quarter worth approximately $198,000. Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC bought a new position in shares of Nucor in the first quarter worth approximately $319,000. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. lifted its stake in shares of Nucor by 6.7% in the first quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 180,972 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $11,075,000 after buying an additional 11,398 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State of Wisconsin Investment Board lifted its stake in shares of Nucor by 4.5% in the first quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board now owns 292,590 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $17,874,000 after buying an additional 12,527 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 77.34% of the company’s stock.

Nucor Company Profile

Nucor Corporation manufactures and sells steel and steel products in the United States and internationally. It operates in three segments: Steel Mills, Steel Products, and Raw Materials. The Steel Mills segment produces hot-rolled, cold-rolled, and galvanized sheet steel products; hollow structural section steel tubing, steel electrical conduit, plate steel, and structural steel products; bar steel products, such as blooms, billets, concrete reinforcing and merchant bars, wire rods, and special bar quality; and tubular and plate steel products.

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