Steel Dynamics (Nasdaq: STLD) hasn't been able to establish an earnings trend, bouncing between beating and falling short of estimates during the past fiscal year. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, Jan. 24. Steel Dynamics, together with its subsidiaries, is a domestic manufacturer of steel products and metals recycler.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts strongly back Steel Dynamics, with 10 of 15 rating it a buy and the remainder rating it a hold. Analysts like Steel Dynamics better than competitor United States Steel overall. Analysts still rate the stock a moderate buy, but they are a bit more wary about it compared to three months ago.
  • Revenue Forecasts: On average, analysts predict $1.87 billion in revenue this quarter. That would represent a rise of 22.2% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $0.11 per share. Estimates range from $0.10 to $0.13.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are solidly backing the stock with 98.3% giving it an "outperform" rating. The community at large concurs with the All-Stars with 96.3% awarding it a rating of "outperform." Fools have embraced Steel Dynamics and haven't been shy with their opinions lately, logging 281 posts in the past 30 days. Even with a robust four out of five stars, Steel Dynamics' CAPS rating falls a little short of the community's upbeat outlook.

Management:
Steel Dynamics' profit has risen year over year by an average of 56% over the past five quarters.

Now let's look at how efficient management is at running the business. Traditionally, margins represent the efficiency with which companies capture portions of sales dollars. The following table shows gross, operating, and net margins over the past four quarters. 

Quarter Q3 Q2 Q1 Q4
Gross Margin 9.8% 13.3% 14.7% 8.7%
Operating Margin 5.3% 9.1% 10.2% 3.1%
Net Margin 2.1% 4.7% 5.3% 0.5%

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