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Jefferies Raises Target Price and Estimates on United States Steel (X) (Update)

Update (9:38 a.m.): Updated with Wednesday market open information.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Jefferies raised its target price on United States Steel  (X) to $27 and raised its estimates. The firm cited valuation driven by incremental cost savings and management's forecast for the first quarter. Jefferies set a "hold" rating.

The stock was moving down 0.95% to $25.10 shortly after the market opened on Wednesday.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates UNITED STATES STEEL CORP as a "hold" with a ratings score of C-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate UNITED STATES STEEL CORP (X) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed -- some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strongest point has been its expanding profit margins. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • X, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 3.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 4.8%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • In its most recent trading session, X has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. Despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year, there is currently no conclusive evidence that warrants the purchase or sale of this stock.
  • UNITED STATES STEEL CORP has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past year. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, UNITED STATES STEEL CORP reported poor results of -$14.27 versus -$0.97 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.21 versus -$14.27).
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.32 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 0.78, which illustrates the inability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. 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.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: X Ratings Report

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