NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- United States Steel (X) plummeted on Monday following the release of poor ISM manufacturing data for January. By midafternoon, shares had taken off 4.4% to $24.97, compared to the S&P 500's 2.24% drop.
The steelmaker was sinking on a grim day for manufacturing-exposed stocks. Data from the Institute for Supply Management showed manufacturing growth in January at its weakest level since May 2013. The ISM index dropped to 51.3 from 56.5 in December, far below a 56 consensus forecast by Bloomberg-surveyed analysts. New order growth fell to 51.2 from 64.4, its biggest drop in 33 years.
Also adding to concerns of a weakening economy, Ford (F) and General Motors (GM) posted a 7.1% and 12% drop in January unit sales, respectively. The automakers blamed wintery weather and icy conditions for a lack of customers.
Last Monday, Pittsburgh-based United States Steel posted better-than-expected fiscal 2013 earnings. A net loss of $1.11 a share was less than the per-share loss of $1.22 expected by those surveyed by Thomson Reuters. However, full-year revenue of $17.42 billion fell short by $78 million.
TheStreet Ratings team rates UNITED STATES STEEL CORP as a Hold with a ratings score of C-. The 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. Among the primary strengths of the company is its solid stock performance, considering both the consistency and magnitude of the price movement over time. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity."