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Last up is
Gerdau (GGB - Get Report), the second-biggest long steel producer in the world, with more than 25 million metric tons of capacity. In spite of a rough and tumble year for market performance (and GGB in particular), shares of the Brazil-based firm are up close to 14% since the first trading day in January.
Now, with a $15.5 million stake initiated in the first quarter, Ken Fisher and company are betting on continued strength for the rest of the year.
Gerdau certainly has the right exposure for growth-focused investors. The 111-year old firm generates around 60% of its sales in Latin America, a region where infrastructure projects have fuelled demand for long steel, even if economic metrics have ebbed and flowed over the years. And despite the commodity price-driven nature of the steel business, Gerdau has managed to operate profitably for more than a century, a feat that few firms worldwide have ever managed.
A low cost structure and impressive scale give Gerdau significant advantages, even if the firm's balance sheet is more leveraged than the norm. The firm should be able to sustain its 2.6% dividend payout for the foreseeable future, especially if borrowing costs remain near historic lows for the next couple of years.
To see these stocks in action, check out the
Ken Fisher New Buys Q1 2012 Portfolio on Stockpickr.
-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.