Olympic Steel, Inc. (NASDAQ:ZEUS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “OLYMPIC STEEL INC. is a specialized steel service center that processes and distributes flat- rolled carbon, stainless and tubular steel products. Co. operates as an intermediary between steel producers and manufacturers that require processed steel for their operations. Co. purchases flat-rolled steel typically from steel producers and responds to its customers’ needs by processing steel to customer specifications and by providing critical inventory and just-in-time delivery services. “

A number of other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. KeyCorp restated a “hold” rating on shares of Olympic Steel in a research report on Tuesday, September 19th. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “hold” rating on shares of Olympic Steel in a research report on Friday, July 7th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. Olympic Steel presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $21.75.

Shares of Olympic Steel (ZEUS) traded down 0.05% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $19.76. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 64,528 shares. Olympic Steel has a 12 month low of $15.83 and a 12 month high of $28.67. The firm has a market cap of $216.71 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.97 and a beta of 1.74. The company’s 50-day moving average is $19.99 and its 200 day moving average is $18.61.

Olympic Steel (NASDAQ:ZEUS) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 3rd. The basic materials company reported $0.47 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.41 by $0.06. Olympic Steel had a net margin of 0.71% and a return on equity of 2.82%. The firm had revenue of $356.20 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $365.00 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.32 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Olympic Steel will post $1.32 EPS for the current year.

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In related news, COO Andrew S. Greiff purchased 3,500 shares of Olympic Steel stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 5th. The shares were bought at an average price of $17.75 per share, for a total transaction of $62,125.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 9,021 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $160,122.75. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CFO Richard T. Marabito purchased 2,000 shares of Olympic Steel stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 11th. The shares were bought at an average price of $17.42 per share, for a total transaction of $34,840.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 30,614 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $533,295.88. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 18.29% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Highbridge Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Olympic Steel during the first quarter valued at about $278,000. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its position in shares of Olympic Steel by 128.5% during the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 15,245 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $283,000 after buying an additional 8,574 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in shares of Olympic Steel by 2.0% during the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 144,755 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,687,000 after buying an additional 2,791 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in shares of Olympic Steel by 0.4% during the first quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 926,074 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $17,188,000 after buying an additional 3,394 shares during the period. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Olympic Steel by 7.4% during the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 487,212 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $9,042,000 after buying an additional 33,491 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 68.11% of the company’s stock.

Olympic Steel Company Profile

Olympic Steel, Inc is a metals service center. The Company provides metals processing and distribution services for a range of customers. The Company operates through three segments: carbon flat products, specialty metals flat products, and tubular and pipe products. The Company’s carbon flat products segment’s focus is on the direct sale and distribution of large volumes of processed carbon and coated flat-rolled sheet, coil and plate products and fabricated parts.

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