What: Shares of steel company Commercial Metals Company (NYSE:CMC) fell as much as 14% in early trading today after it reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings.
So what: Net sales plunged 23% from a year ago to $1.41 billion, and as a result, the company swung to a loss of $5.8 million, or $0.05 per share. Adjusted for one-time items, the company said it earned $0.25 per share, but that was still well short of the $0.43 per share Wall Street expected.
Now what: What's strange is that management said nonresidential construction spending is up 24% this year, and that's its biggest end-use market. But it's losing business because of a high level of imports from China at low costs that are making recycling less attractive. Given these headwinds, which could last for a long time, I don't see much upside in buying shares today. The company's loss and declines in demand are more than I'm willing to overlook, and it could be a long time before imports aren't a drag on the business overall.