Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Nucor Corp. (NYSE:NUE) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Nucor remains exposed to certain macro economic difficulties including continued weakness in the steel industry, challenges in the Eurozone and persistent risk of cheaper imports. The company is seeing weak demand across a number of markets including energy. Rise in domestic as well as Chinese production also increase supply in a market facing weak demand.”

Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on NUE. Bank of America Corp. cut shares of Nucor Corp. from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $56.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Wednesday, July 20th. Barclays PLC upped their price target on shares of Nucor Corp. from $52.00 to $55.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a report on Tuesday, July 12th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $59.50 price target on shares of Nucor Corp. in a report on Friday, July 22nd. Cowen and Company upped their price target on shares of Nucor Corp. from $50.00 to $55.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a report on Tuesday, July 26th. Finally, Berenberg Bank cut shares of Nucor Corp. from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $57.50 price target on the stock. in a report on Friday, July 22nd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $52.99.

Nucor Corp. (NYSE:NUE) traded up 0.944% during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $47.595. The company had a trading volume of 499,010 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $15.15 billion, a P/E ratio of 32.622 and a beta of 1.47. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $47.82 and its 200-day moving average is $49.63. Nucor Corp. has a 52 week low of $33.90 and a 52 week high of $57.08.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, November 10th. Investors of record on Friday, September 30th will be given a dividend of $0.375 per share. This represents a $1.50 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.18%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, September 28th. Nucor Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 102.04%.

In related news, CFO James D. Frias sold 9,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, July 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.14, for a total value of $478,260.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 156,065 shares in the company, valued at $8,293,294.10. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Chairman John J. Ferriola sold 12,128 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, July 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.12, for a total transaction of $656,367.36. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now owns 354,420 shares in the company, valued at approximately $19,181,210.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.63% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its stake in shares of Nucor Corp. by 385.6% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,453,887 shares of the company’s stock valued at $71,838,000 after buying an additional 1,154,514 shares in the last quarter. Panagora Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Nucor Corp. by 643.0% in the first quarter. Panagora Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,302,205 shares of the company’s stock valued at $61,594,000 after buying an additional 1,126,931 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its stake in shares of Nucor Corp. by 1,678.3% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 1,063,400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $50,299,000 after buying an additional 1,003,600 shares in the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Nucor Corp. by 196.3% in the second quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 1,503,209 shares of the company’s stock valued at $74,273,000 after buying an additional 995,828 shares in the last quarter. Finally, AQR Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Nucor Corp. by 314.1% in the second quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 915,942 shares of the company’s stock valued at $45,257,000 after buying an additional 694,744 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 77.95% of the company’s stock.

About Nucor Corp.

Nucor Corporation (Nucor) manufactures steel and steel products. The Company also produces direct reduced iron (DRI) for use in the Company’s steel mills. It also processes ferrous and nonferrous metals and brokers ferrous and nonferrous metals, pig iron, hot briquetted iron (HBI) and DRI. Nucor operates in three segments: steel mills, steel products and raw materials.

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