Mechel's Shares Dropped: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Russian steelmaker Mechel (NYS: MTL) got burned today, falling as much as 11% on heavy trading.

So what: This is a double whammy: Not only is the market in uproar over yet another round of European debt fears, which is bad enough for suppliers to the international construction market like Mechel, but the company had to shut down two coal mines after failing safety inspections. The mines are expected to come back online in a matter of days, but every work stoppage hurts the bottom line.

Now what: Safety concerns notwithstanding, 2011 has been brutal to steel companies. Mechel and U.S. Steel (NYS: X) have seen their share prices drop more than 50%, global giant Arcelor Mittal (NYS: MT) is about half of what it was at New Year's, and even top-notch steel slinger Nucor (NYS: NUE) has lost value. All of these stocks have underperformed the Dow Jones Industrial Index (INDEX: ^DJI) . Assuming that the global economy ever gets back on its feet, I think we're looking at a basket of deep, deep values in the steel industry -- and since every stock I mentioned carries at least four CAPS stars out of five, our fellow Fools seem to agree.

Interested in more info about Mechel? Click here to add it to My Watchlist.

At the time this article was published Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Arcelor Mittal. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Nucor. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinion, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Check out Anders' holdings and bio, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. We have a disclosure policy.

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