Steel stocks may vibrate from day to day like a caffeinated Chihuahua, but my man-crush with Steel Dynamics (NASDAQ:STLD) endures. I know, I know; steel is cyclical, there's minimal brand value, there's the threat of imports. Blah, blah, blah -- all I know is that I regret not buying shares of this relatively more specialized mini-mill a year or two ago.

Like the stocks, earnings of steel companies have been all over the place: Integrated producer POSCO (NYSE:PKX) had weaker comparisons, while fellow specialist Chaparral (NASDAQ:CHAP) had a pretty good quarter. Steel Dynamics fits in with the "good" -- its second-quarter revenue was up more than 50% (helped in part by an acquisition), and operating income rose 70% as operating margins improved by more than two full points.

There are a few different ways to look at the operating data, but I'm going to look at what I think is "same steel" growth -- where production of flat roll, structural steel, and engineered bar rose 15% from the same quarter last year. Pricing was also quite good, with average selling prices more than 10% higher annually and up 6% from the first quarter.

As fellow Fool and steel buff Rich Smith has pointed out on more than one occasion, steel companies (and really all metal and minerals companies to some extent) cycle between periods of boom and bust. And so I'm sure there will be times again in the future when Steel Dynamics is experiencing weaker demand. For now, though, companies like Washington Group (NASDAQ:WGII) are building more power plants and bridges, General Electric (NYSE:GE) is building more refrigerators, and auto companies not named Ford (NYSE:F) or GeneralMotors (NYSE:GM) are seeing decent demand for autos -- all of which require plenty of steel.

I certainly have no idea whether Steel Dynamics is right for you. All I can say is that it's a strong and well-run steel company that's worth a look from investors considering this general sector. For my own part, I'm not averse to seeing a little swoon that might once again put these shares in my sweet spot for buying.

For more steely Foolishness:

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Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).