Will This Downgrade Hurt Nucor (NUE) Today?

Story updated at 9:40 a.m. to reflect market activity.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Nucor (NUE) was downgraded to "neutral" from "overweight" by Credit Suisse Friday.

Shares of Nucor fell 1.1% to $48.10 in morning trading.

The firm set a $50 price target for the company. The downgrade is a valuation call by the firm's analysts.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates NUCOR CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate NUCOR CORP (NUE) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, increase in stock price during the past year and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

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

  • NUE's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 8.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 10.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 156.67% to $194.31 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, NUCOR CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -50.21%.
  • The stock price has risen over the past year, but, despite its earnings growth and some other positive factors, it has underperformed the S&P 500 so far. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • NUCOR CORP has improved earnings per share by 23.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, NUCOR CORP reported lower earnings of $1.52 versus $1.59 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.67 versus $1.52).
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further. Despite the fact that NUE's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 1.69 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: NUE Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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