NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of U.S. Steel (X) - Get Report were falling 4.3% to $24.35 Tuesday after the steel producer announced it will idle its Minntac plant in Mt. Iron, MN.

U.S. Steel said it will idle the plant on June 1 due to the company's current inventory levels, and the ongoing adjustment of its steelmaking operations in North America. The company said it will continue operating Minntac in a reduced capacity in order to meet customer demand.

The steelmaker did not say how many workers will be impacted by the idling, saying the number will be determined by operational and maintenance needs.

Earlier Tuesday JPMorgan Chase (JPM) - Get Reportissued a bearish note about metals and mining companies, including U.S. Steel. Analyst Michael Gambardella said the firm is "not looking for a material increase in steel prices, as we think imports will remain elevated and scrap prices depressed."

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 strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself and poor profit margins."

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

  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the Metals & Mining industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 1.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $270.00 million to $275.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 3600.00% to $245.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, UNITED STATES STEEL CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -45.85%.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Metals & Mining industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, UNITED STATES STEEL CORP has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for UNITED STATES STEEL CORP is currently extremely low, coming in at 14.73%. 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, the net profit margin of 6.75% trails the industry average.
  • X has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 8.95% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, other than the push or pull of the broad market, we do not see anything in the company's numbers that may help reverse the decline experienced over the past 12 months. Despite the past decline, the stock is still selling for more than most others in its industry.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: \X Ratings Report

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