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United States Steel Corporation Stock Downgraded (X)

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- United States Steel Corporation (NYSE:X) has been downgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, generally weak debt management, poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Metals & Mining industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 154.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$86.00 million to -$219.00 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.19 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. Along with the unfavorable debt-to-equity ratio, X maintains a poor quick ratio of 0.87, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The gross profit margin for UNITED STATES STEEL CORP is currently extremely low, coming in at 10.20%. Regardless of X's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, X's net profit margin of -4.20% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 55.05%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 153.33% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Metals & Mining industry and the overall market, UNITED STATES STEEL CORP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

United States Steel Corporation engages in the production and sale of steel mill products in North America and Europe. The company operates in three segments: Flat-rolled Products (Flat-rolled), U. S. Steel Europe (USSE), and Tubular Products (Tubular). United States has a market cap of $2.72 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and metals & mining industry. Shares are down 28.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

You can view the full United States Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

-- Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff

TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

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