Aside from the vast hydrocarbon wealth, Russia has been blessed with a bounty of other natural resources including coal, zinc and timber. With the global economy beginning to grind forward, any demand growth should help shareholders in suffering miner and steel producer Mechel (NYSE:MTL).
The firm — which sells metallurgical and steam coal, iron ore, finished steel products, nickel and zinc — has fallen hard as global coal prices continue to drop. Mechel actually shuttered some of its some U.S.-based coal mines due to risen supplies and falling costs. However, based on its last earnings report, things are looking up for the firm.
Mechel posted consolidated net income of $55 million in the third quarter of 2012 compared with a net income of $26 million a year ago — over a 100% increase. With the firm focusing on cost measures and its leadership position in steel production, analysts expect additional improvements to the firm’s earnings. Price targets for Mechel shares are roughly 25% higher than it currently can be had for.