Comparing Olympic Steel (ZEUS) and Ryerson (RYI)

Olympic Steel (NASDAQ: ZEUS) and Ryerson (NYSE:RYI) are both small-cap basic materials companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, institutional ownership, earnings, risk, analyst recommendations, valuation and dividends.


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Olympic Steel pays an annual dividend of $0.08 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.4%. Ryerson does not pay a dividend. Olympic Steel pays out 6.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

65.6% of Olympic Steel shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 39.7% of Ryerson shares are held by institutional investors. 18.3% of Olympic Steel shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 1.1% of Ryerson shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Olympic Steel and Ryerson’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Olympic Steel $1.33 billion 0.18 $18.96 million $1.18 18.47
Ryerson $3.36 billion 0.10 $17.10 million $0.37 24.86

Olympic Steel has higher earnings, but lower revenue than Ryerson. Olympic Steel is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Ryerson, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility & Risk

Olympic Steel has a beta of 1.83, indicating that its stock price is 83% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ryerson has a beta of 1.89, indicating that its stock price is 89% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Olympic Steel and Ryerson, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Olympic Steel 0 2 0 0 2.00
Ryerson 0 2 2 0 2.50

Olympic Steel presently has a consensus price target of $19.00, suggesting a potential downside of 12.84%. Ryerson has a consensus price target of $11.69, suggesting a potential upside of 27.04%. Given Ryerson’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Ryerson is more favorable than Olympic Steel.


This table compares Olympic Steel and Ryerson’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Olympic Steel 1.42% 4.89% 2.14%
Ryerson 0.51% -71.60% 0.78%


Olympic Steel beats Ryerson on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Olympic Steel

Olympic Steel, Inc. processes and distributes metal products in the United States and internationally. It operates in three segments: Carbon Flat Products; Specialty Metals Flat Products; and Tubular and Pipe Products. The Carbon Flat Products segment sells and distributes processed carbon and coated flat-rolled sheets, coil and plate products, and fabricated parts. The Specialty Metals Flat Products segment sells and distributes processed aluminum and stainless flat-rolled sheets and coil products, flat bar products, and fabricated parts. The Tubular and Pipe Products segment distributes metal tubing products, pipes, bars, valves and fittings, and fabricated pressure parts. The company also provides various processing services comprising cutting-to-length, slitting, flattening, sawing and shearing, and value-added processing of blanking, tempering, plate burning, laser cutting, precision machining, welding, fabricating, bending, beveling, polishing, kitting, and painting to process metals to specified lengths, widths, and shapes. It serves metal consuming industries, such as manufacturers and fabricators of transportation and material handling lift equipment, construction, mining and farm equipment, storage tanks, environmental and energy generation equipment, automobiles, food service and electrical equipment, and military vehicles and equipment, as well as general and plate fabricators, and metals service centers through direct sales force. Olympic Steel, Inc. was founded in 1954 and is headquartered in Bedford Heights, Ohio.

About Ryerson

Ryerson Holding Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, processes and distributes industrial metals in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and China. The company offers a line of products in stainless steel, aluminum, carbon steel, and alloy steels, as well as nickel and red metals in various shapes and forms, including coils, sheets, rounds, hexagons, square and flat bars, plates, structural products, and tubing. It also provides various value-added processing and fabrication services, such as bending, beveling, blanking, blasting, burning, cutting-to-length, drilling, embossing, flattening, forming, grinding, laser cutting, machining, notching, painting, perforating, punching, rolling, sawing, scribing, shearing, slitting, stamping, tapping, threading, welding, or other techniques to process materials. The company serves various industries, including commercial ground transportation manufacturing, metal fabrication and machine shops, industrial machinery and equipment manufacturing, consumer durable equipment, HVAC manufacturing, construction equipment manufacturing, food processing and agricultural equipment manufacturing, and oil and gas. Ryerson Holding Corporation was founded in 1842 and is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

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