BlueScope has a pulse after tough times

Bluescope Steel's share price has made progress since 2012.
Bluescope Steel's share price has made progress since 2012.

It would be hard to find an Australian company that has suffered as much as BlueScope Steel and is still standing. Spun out of what was then BHP's steel division in July 2002, it first listed at about $10.

The share price reached a dizzying $51.53 in May 2007 before the global financial crisis, then tumbled to $9 before reaching a post-crash high of $17.68 in mid-2009. But unlike Australian miners, China's move to reflate its economy after the GFC did not help its case.

A rising Australian dollar helped to turn its Australian steel export business into an uncompetitive liability and in October 2011 it closed one of its two blast furnaces at Port Kembla, slashed Australian production and went out of the export business.

The share price reached an all-time low of only $1.47 in July 2012 and the company shortly after announced losses of more than $1 billion.

After that BlueScope went into a strong uptrend, beginning what has turned out to be a long positive journey.

This week's chart, produced by Paul Ash, Victorian president of the Australian Technical Analysts Association, captures BlueScope's progress since May 2012.

Following the initial uptrend, some weakness was experienced in June and September 2013 as is indicated by the turndown in the 30-day moving average line for those periods. But following that, the price climbed upwards in two trajectories with the second steeper than the first.

During the sideways pattern experienced between May and September 2013 there was a triple top resistance level evident at about $5.55. But a series of higher lows indicated the likelihood of a breakout to the upside.

This occurred in November as a new uptrend set in.

That uptrend has witnessed a new series of higher highs and higher lows till the level around $6.40 turned into a resistance.

The higher lows experienced during the past two months resulted in the formation of an ascending triangle pattern, which indicates congestion and often presages a breakout.

Such a breakout may be in its nascent stages with the share price closing well above $6.40 at the time of writing. This is considered by technical analysts a bullish sign and further rises may follow.

On the fundamental front, there has been some good news for BlueScope shareholders of late. The most recent half saw underlying net profit of $49.1 million, $50 million above the small loss experienced for the previous corresponding period.

This column is not investment advice.,


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