This past quarter, US Steel (NYSE: X) failed to live up to the strength of its name, posting a whopping $51 million loss. Initially predicting a profit for the quarter in late July, the steel giant comes in well below these lofty expectations.

Shipment orders and prices of flat-rolled steel, a material comprising everything from cars to appliances to construction, flat-lined when compared with Q2 earnings. And with lower average prices, shipments and production value, they're not expecting a turnaround anytime soon.

US Steel cites slower-than-expected economic growth, coupled with a flailing construction market for the loss -- which makes sense, considering how closely their bread and butter is tied to the housing sector and overall economic health. And Q3 buying patterns, historically slow within the industry, certainly didn't help.

So does their poor quarterly showing signal overall weakness in the steel industry? Perhaps. But don't forget, US Steel was also paying the price of a major track failure at their Gary, Indiana plant, costing them additional tens of millions in repair and maintenance. Whether you see this as an isolated incident or an indicator of poor company infrastructure, it's unrelated to the industry at large.

One way to take the temperature of the industry is to see what other steel executives think about current market conditions. Are they buying stock in their own companies? If they're wiling to put their money where their mouth is, it could be seen as a positive sign.

We've managed to find three steel executives using their own money to buy the stock of their employer. It might be worth keeping an eye on these steel stocks to judge the severity of the industry's downturn. (Click here to access free interactive tools to analyze these investing ideas.)

Insider trading data sourced from AOL Money. The list has been sorted alphabetically.



Insider Transactions

Commercial Metals Company (NYSE: CMC)

Engages in recycling, manufacturing, fabricating, and distributing steel and metal products

Rhys J Best (Director) bought $68,121 worth of stock on 6/30

Haynes International (Nasdaq: HAYN)

Develops, manufactures, markets, and distributes high-performance nickel-and cobalt-based alloys

Mark Comerford (CEO) bought $27,004 worth of stock on 6/9

Worthington Industries (NYSE: WOR)

Operates as a diversified metal processing company focusing on steel processing and manufactured metal products

Insiders like Carl Nelson (Director), Matthew Lockard (Officer) and John Roberts (Officer) collectively bought $95,380 between 7/2-7/7

Interactive Chart: Click on the time line on top of the chart to evaluate the performance of these stocks during different time intervals.

Kapitall's Eben Esterhuizen and Alicia Sellitti do not own shares of any companies mentioned.

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