Nucor Corporation’s (NUE - Free Report) board has hiked the regular quarterly cash dividend on its common stock by 0.7% to 37.75 cents. This cash dividend is payable on Feb 10, 2017, to stockholders of record as of Dec 30, 2016, and is Nucor's 175th straight quarterly cash dividend.
Nucor has raised its regular, or base, dividend for 44 consecutive years. The company has returned more than $6 billion in capital to its stockholders in the form of base dividends, supplemental dividends and share repurchases since 1973.
Nucor’s share price has gained 29.16% compared with the Zacks categorized steel industry rate of 23.48% in the past one month. During the last month, the company completed its purchase of Chicago-based Independence Tube Corporation (ITC) for $435 million. ITC is a leading independent producer of hollow structural section (HSS) steel tubing.
ITC operates four state-of-the-art facilities across Illinois and Alabama that annually make roughly 600,000 tons of HSS. Its plants are located in close proximity to Nucor's sheet mills in Decatur, AL; Crawfordsville, IN; and Ghent, KY.
HSS is used in a vast range of applications including commercial construction, infrastructure, agricultural and construction equipment end-use markets. ITC purchases hot-rolled coil from suppliers to make its HSS steel tubing. It has the second biggest market share in HSS.
The acquisition is a strategic fit and highly complementary for Nucor and is in sync with its strategy to expand the number of value-added product offerings to its customers.
Nucor currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Some better-ranked companies in the steel space include AK Steel Holding Corp. (AKS - Free Report) , ArcelorMittal (MT - Free Report) and POSCO (PKX - Free Report) .
AK Steel has an expected earnings growth of around 194.1% for the current year. The company carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
ArcelorMittal has an expected earnings growth of around 350% for the current year and also carries a Zacks Rank #2.
POSCO, another Zacks Rank #2 stock, has an expected earnings growth of around 852.4% for the current year.
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