Why Mechel PAO Stock Popped 41% Today

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What happened

Mechel PAO (NYSE:MTL) stock is flying through the roof Tuesday, gaining a whopping 41% within the first few minutes of the market’s opening. Although shares of the Russian-based steel and mining giant gave up some ground as the day progressed, it was still trading 36% higher as of 1:40 p.m. EDT.

So what

Mechel PAO is among the world’s largest metallurgical and coking coal miners, and is the largest manufacturer of steel products in Russia. Its sales and earnings, therefore, depend a great deal on prices of commodities like coal, steel, and ferrosilicon. On that front, good news is pouring in from nearly all sides as base metal prices have been on fire of late, fueling heavy investor interest in metals and mining stocks across the board.

Image source: Getty Images.

Steel prices have skyrocketed in recent months while coking coal and ferrosilicon prices are hovering near all-times highs in China as of this writing. Meanwhile, coal and steel supply in China continues to shrink thanks to the nation’s production curbs to alleviate pollution. China also banned coal imports from Australia in December last year, boosting demand from other major producing nations like Russia.

It’s a win-win for Mechel PAO as it is Russia’s second-largest coal producer and exporter and exports primarily to countries like China and Japan. It is also among the leading steel products producers in Russia.

Now what

Mechel PAO already gave investors a glimpse of how much money it can make from rising commodity prices when it reported a 40% jump in revenue for the first half of the year on Aug. 27, with its largest segment, steel, reporting highest revenue growth. Its net profit more than tripled during the quarter.

With commodity prices still rallying and the Russian ruble also strengthening against the U.S. dollar (which should translate into foreign currency gains for the company), investor interest in Mechel PAO is unsurprisingly going up, driving the stock up a staggering 90% in just one month.

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