Nucor Co. (NYSE:NUE) was the target of a large drop in short interest during the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 6,315,600 shares, a drop of 6.5% from the July 31st total of 6,751,300 shares. Approximately 2.1% of the shares of the company are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 2,340,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.7 days.

NUE stock traded down $0.09 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $53.60. 1,899,459 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,651,669. The company has a current ratio of 3.56, a quick ratio of 1.76 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40. The firm has a market capitalization of $16.15 billion, a P/E ratio of 7.03, a P/E/G ratio of 0.92 and a beta of 1.62. The company has a 50-day simple moving average of $50.75 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $54.61. Nucor has a 12 month low of $46.10 and a 12 month high of $66.03.

Nucor (NYSE:NUE) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 18th. The basic materials company reported $1.26 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.25 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $5.90 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6 billion. Nucor had a return on equity of 21.65% and a net margin of 8.84%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 8.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $2.07 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that Nucor will post 4.82 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 8th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 27th will be given a dividend of $0.40 per share. This represents a $1.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.99%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 26th. Nucor’s payout ratio is 21.00%.

NUE has been the subject of several research reports. Citigroup set a $60.00 price target on Nucor and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 11th. ValuEngine downgraded Nucor from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, August 1st. Goldman Sachs Group lowered their price objective on Nucor from $70.00 to $59.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, June 4th. Bank of America lowered their price objective on Nucor from $50.00 to $46.00 and set an “underperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, September 4th. Finally, KeyCorp lowered their price objective on Nucor from $61.00 to $60.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, August 27th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $62.40.

In other Nucor news, Chairman John J. Ferriola sold 19,193 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.37, for a total transaction of $1,081,909.41. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now owns 475,921 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $26,827,666.77. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Ladd R. Hall sold 28,998 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.90, for a total value of $1,649,986.20. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 292,776 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $16,658,954.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 61,203 shares of company stock valued at $3,465,601 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.96% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of NUE. Coastal Investment Advisors Inc. increased its position in shares of Nucor by 79.9% in the second quarter. Coastal Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 556 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $31,000 after purchasing an additional 247 shares during the period. Stonebridge Capital Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Nucor in the second quarter worth $34,000. Berman Capital Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Nucor by 37.9% in the first quarter. Berman Capital Advisors LLC now owns 677 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $39,000 after purchasing an additional 186 shares during the period. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. increased its position in shares of Nucor by 300.0% in the second quarter. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. now owns 800 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $44,000 after purchasing an additional 600 shares during the period. Finally, TRUE Private Wealth Advisors bought a new position in shares of Nucor in the second quarter worth $44,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 77.35% of the company’s stock.

About Nucor

Nucor Corporation manufactures and sells steel and steel products in the United States and internationally. It operates in three segments: Steel Mills, Steel Products, and Raw Materials. The Steel Mills segment produces hot-rolled, cold-rolled, and galvanized sheet steel products; plate steel products; wide-flange beams, beam blanks, and H-piling and sheet piling products; bar steel products, such as blooms, billets, concrete reinforcing and merchant bars, and special bar quality products.

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