Nucor Corp. (NYSE:NUE) reached a new 52-week high during trading on Friday . The company traded as high as $53.10 and last traded at $53.08, with a volume of 1,714,746 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $51.51.

A number of research firms recently commented on NUE. Bank of America Corp. reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Nucor Corp. in a research report on Friday, June 17th. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $60.00 price target (up previously from $56.00) on shares of Nucor Corp. in a report on Friday, June 10th. Argus raised shares of Nucor Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $58.00 price target for the company in a report on Friday, June 24th. Credit Suisse Group AG raised their price target on shares of Nucor Corp. from $45.00 to $55.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 8th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Nucor Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $56.00 price target for the company in a report on Tuesday, July 5th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating, thirteen have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $51.60.

The company has a market cap of $16.91 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 47.49. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $49.46 and its 200 day moving average is $44.83.

Nucor Corp. (NYSE:NUE) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 21st. The company reported $0.22 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.27 by $0.05. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.21 EPS. The firm had revenue of $3.72 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.63 billion. The company’s revenue was down 15.5% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts forecast that Nucor Corp. will post $2.55 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, August 11th. Investors of record on Thursday, June 30th will be given a $0.375 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, June 28th. This represents a $1.50 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.82%.

In related news, EVP Robert J. Stratman sold 52,631 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, April 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.90, for a total value of $2,626,286.90. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 268,246 shares in the company, valued at approximately $13,385,475.40. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP D. Chad Utermark sold 2,050 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, April 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.65, for a total transaction of $103,832.50. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 56,621 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,867,853.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of hedge funds have added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in Nucor Corp. by 2.1% in the fourth quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 19,190,256 shares of the company’s stock valued at $773,367,000 after buying an additional 397,271 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in Nucor Corp. by 4.8% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,673,516 shares of the company’s stock valued at $148,043,000 after buying an additional 168,845 shares during the period. Systematic Financial Management LP increased its stake in Nucor Corp. by 65.1% in the fourth quarter. Systematic Financial Management LP now owns 1,489,546 shares of the company’s stock valued at $60,028,000 after buying an additional 587,352 shares during the period. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its stake in Nucor Corp. by 1.1% in the fourth quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 830,061 shares of the company’s stock valued at $33,451,000 after buying an additional 8,800 shares during the period. Finally, New York State Common Retirement Fund increased its stake in Nucor Corp. by 0.7% in the fourth quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 737,500 shares of the company’s stock valued at $29,721,000 after buying an additional 5,300 shares during the period.

Nucor Corporation (Nucor) manufactures steel and steel products. The Company also produces direct reduced iron (DRI) for use in the Company’s steel mills. It also processes ferrous and nonferrous metals and brokers ferrous and nonferrous metals, pig iron, hot briquetted iron (HBI) and DRI. Nucor operates in three segments: steel mills, steel products and raw materials.

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