Korean steel giant Posco
It's also interesting to note the stock's recent lackluster appreciation, as compared with the general doubling in market cap accorded its U.S.-based rivals. Over the past year, Posco has gained a (relatively) measly 28%, which, while it beats the Standard & Poor's 500's 19% gains pretty handily, does not compare favorably at all with the more than 200% gains of, for example, Ohio steelmakerAK Steel
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Without having a better feel for Korea, its companies, and the reliability of their financial statements, I cannot say for sure whether all the above makes Posco a bargain. But to this outsider looking in, it certainly looks interesting.
Want a better idea of just how quickly an industry trend can turn a debt-ridden company with no free cash flow into an attractive investment? Look no further than these articles on AK Steel:
Fool contributorRich Smithhas no interest in any of the companies mentioned in this article. While fascinated by the steel story, he believes this cyclical industry is nearing its crest and due for a fall.