Mechel (MTL) is a Russian steel company that has been taking fire from all sides, and is down a whopping 60% year-to-date to about $3 per share thanks to weak demand, general tension between Russia and the U.S. on issues like Syria and, of course, the global downturn brutalizing commodity stocks in general.
But it’s hard to argue that the negativity has not been priced in after a gut-wrenching 90% drop since 2008. So if you want to live dangerously and play around with cheap stocks instead of higher-priced equities with stability, why not MTL?
The top line at MTL remains pretty strong, but the steel company is operating in the red this year since operations aren’t running at high margins. Mechel does have $9.7 billion in debt hanging over its head, but a cyclical recovery in the steel business both in Russia and globally could lift the dark clouds and prompt a big move higher. And, of course, Russian stocks with the blessing of the Kremlin just seem to have a way of sticking around with decent financing deals and government contracts.
If you’re an aggressive trader who’s willing to speculate on a recovery, Mechel might be for you. Just be ready for a wild ride.
Jeff Reeves is the editor of InvestorPlace.com and the author of The Frugal Investor’s Guide to Finding Great Stocks. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @JeffReevesIP. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the stocks named here.