KeyBanc lowers outlook on four metal service centers

Sep 17, 2010 | 11:56 AM |

KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. lowered its earnings estimates for four publicly traded metal service centers Friday, citing the companies' own forecasts for long-term weakness in construction and gradual demand recovery in other end-user markets. However, it left its "buy" and "hold" ratings on the companies unchanged

Following investor meetings with Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co., Olympic Steel Inc., Metals USA Holdings Corp. and A.M. Castle & Co., KeyBanc analyst Mark L. Parr said demand is merely "bumping along," with certain metals in oversupply and competition keeping pressure on margins.

Reliance and Olympic executives said the carbon steel hot-rolled coil pricing increases from mid-August went through but the most recent attempt is a "little more iffy," as it was seen as more of an attempt to stem steel prices from following falling scrap tags.....

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