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UBS Cuts U.S. Steel Rating to Reduce from Neutral

UBS cut its rating on U.S. Steel (X) to reduce from neutral, explaining that the company's acquisition appears unlikely to happen.

Analyst Timna Tanners says that acquisition-target speculation surrounding the company is overdone, particularly given the stock's current (unjustified) valuation. The analyst says she does not envision larger companies interested or financially comfortable, and she has an $8.3 billion enterprise value for US Steel (including tax-adjustments for underfunded pension and healthcare benefits). She figures that a sum-of-parts analysis yields a $45 target (up from $41), which is still not high enough for us to hold the stock at current levels. She also believes fourth quarter earnings per share should be weak due to sheet import/natural gas cost pressure and shutdowns.

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