ArcelorMittal (MT) Stock Gains After Analyst Upgrade

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of ArcelorMittal (MT) were gaining 2.9% to $11.92 Friday following an upgrade from Bank of America/Merrill Lynch.

The analyst firm upgraded the steel producer to "buy" from "neutral," setting a price target of 12.50 euros, according to Benzinga.

Bank of America/Merrill Lynch analysts expect ArcelorMittal's second quarter earnings to be sequentially stable despite the company's predicted decline in mining earnings due to cost cuts and increased shipments. Those cuts will likely result in slower earnings growth in the second half of the year.

"We also think growing trade protectionism in Europe is a positive catalyst," the analysts said, adding that global challengers for steel are "very well understood by investors."

The analysts continued, "ArcelorMittal gives leverage to the unfolding margin recovery story in European steel and we think valuation is supportive."

TheStreet Ratings team rates ARCELORMITTAL SA as a Hold with a ratings score of C-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate ARCELORMITTAL SA (MT) 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 respectable return on equity which we feel is likely to continue. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow."

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