Universal Stainless

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An iron and steel player that insiders are jumping into here is Universal Stainless ( USAP), which, together with its wholly owned subsidiaries, manufactures and markets semi-finished and finished specialty steel products, including stainless steel, tool steel and certain other alloyed steels. Insiders are buying shares into some decent strength since the stock is up 17% so far in 2012.

Universal Stainless has a market cap of $299 million and an enterprise value of $395 million. This stock trades at a cheap valuation, with a trailing price-to-earnings 17.14 and a forward price-to-earnings of 8.69. Its estimated growth rate for this year is 43.3%, and for next year it's pegged at 34.8%. This is far from a cash-rich company, since the total cash position on its balance sheet is just $274,000, and its total debt is $94.65 million.

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A beneficial owner just bought 33,339 shares, or $1.39 million worth of stock, at $41.90 to $42.19 per share. The same beneficial owner also just bought 18,638 shares, or $817,000 worth of stock, at $43.36 to $44.46 per share.

From a technical perspective, USAP is currently trading below above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which is bullish. This stock has been trading range bound for the past month and change, between $45 on the upside and around $40 on the downside. A move outside of that range will most likely setup the next major trend for USAP.

If you're a bull on USAP, I would look for long-biased trades if this stock can manage to break out above some near-term overhead resistance at $44.74 to $45.03 a share with high-volume. Look for volume on that move that's near or well above its three-month average action of 50,277 shares. If we get that action soon, then target a run towards its next major near-term resistance levels at $50 to $52.70 a share.

Since this stock has failed at the upper-end of its recent range, that breakout might not be in the cards for awhile. If you want to buy USAP off of weakness, then I would let this pullback towards its 50-day moving average of $39.88, and make sure it holds that level. Basically, look to get long near the lower-end of the range as long as the 50-day does not get violated with high-volume.

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