Nucor (NYSE:NUE) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report released on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has a $73.00 target price on the basic materials company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target indicates a potential upside of 11.98% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Nucor’s profits surged year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2017. Adjusted earnings and sales also beat the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate in the quarter. Nucor remains committed to expand its production capabilities and grow its business through strategic acquisitions. It is also seeing continued momentum in the automotive market.”

NUE has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Credit Suisse Group boosted their target price on shares of Nucor from $67.00 to $73.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 31st. BMO Capital Markets boosted their target price on shares of Nucor to $72.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 31st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Bank of America set a $75.00 target price on shares of Nucor and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, January 8th. Morgan Stanley reduced their target price on shares of Nucor from $70.00 to $68.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, February 6th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Nucor from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Sunday, December 31st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Nucor currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $69.70.

Nucor (NYSE:NUE) opened at $65.19 on Tuesday. The company has a current ratio of 2.42, a quick ratio of 1.19 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.36. Nucor has a 52-week low of $51.67 and a 52-week high of $70.48. The company has a market cap of $20,720.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.90, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.07 and a beta of 1.56.

Nucor (NYSE:NUE) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, January 30th. The basic materials company reported $0.65 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.55 by $0.10. Nucor had a net margin of 6.58% and a return on equity of 13.03%. The firm had revenue of $5.09 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.86 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.50 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 28.7% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts predict that Nucor will post 4.92 EPS for the current year.

In related news, Chairman John J. Ferriola sold 14,313 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.12, for a total value of $917,749.56. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 333,775 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $21,401,653. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Robert J. Stratman sold 39,037 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.88, for a total value of $2,493,683.56. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 233,824 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $14,936,677.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.70% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Independence Bank of Kentucky acquired a new position in Nucor during the fourth quarter worth about $100,000. Barrett Asset Management LLC acquired a new position in Nucor during the fourth quarter worth about $101,000. Cerebellum GP LLC acquired a new position in Nucor during the fourth quarter worth about $131,000. Financial Gravity Companies Inc. acquired a new position in Nucor during the fourth quarter worth about $140,000. Finally, Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. raised its stake in Nucor by 791.0% during the third quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 2,673 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $150,000 after acquiring an additional 2,373 shares in the last quarter. 74.10% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Nucor

Nucor Corporation (Nucor) manufactures steel and steel products. The Company produces direct reduced iron (DRI) for use in its steel mills. It operates in three segments: steel mills, steel products and raw materials. The steel mills segment produces and distributes sheet steel (hot-rolled, cold-rolled and galvanized), plate steel, structural steel (wide-flange beams, beam blanks, H-piling and sheet piling) and bar steel (blooms, billets, concrete reinforcing bar, merchant bar, wire rod and special bar quality).

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