Thursday, August 2, 2012

Is It a Bad Sign When the World's Largest Steel Company Is Cut to "Junk"? (MT)

MT is down 11.60% at $14.10.
From Bloomberg:
ArcelorMittal’s Debt Cut to Junk by S&P on Steel Weakness
ArcelorMittal (MT) had its debt rating cut to junk by Standard & Poor’s a week after the world’s biggest steelmaker said an investment grade was a “strategic priority.” Its shares fell the most since September.
ArcelorMittal’s long- and short-term rating was cut to BB+/B from BBB-/A-3 by S&P, which cited uncertainty about its debt reduction plan and a weakening steel industry. The Luxembourg-based company said the downgrade was driven by a change in S&P’s view of the “macro-economic environment.”

ArcelorMittal is seeking to cut its debt even as the steel industry is roiled by deteriorating global growth that is eroding demand. Steelmakers are reporting lower earnings as the European economic crisis deepens and commodity prices weaken amid slowing Chinese economic growth. Net debt was $22 billion at the end of the second quarter....MORE
And from What's Trading:
Mittal Steel (MT) loses $1.5 to $14.45 in active trading of 8.8 million shares after being downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill and getting a credit downgrade courtesy of S&P (BB+/B, Outlook Negative). Shares are under pressure and the move has stirred up a flurry of activity in puts on the steelmaker. 9,650 contracts traded, which is 7X the normal and almost 3X the number of calls that have traded on the stock....MORE