Thursday, June 11, 2009

Ternium is a Steal

Ternium (TX) is based in Luxembourg, but owns steel plants in Mexico and Argentina. Last year Venezuela yes, Hugo Chavez) announced the nationalization of Sidor, a Venezuelan company in which Ternium held a 59.7% stake.

TX shares got killed on the news and have never fully recovered. Investors expected a painful nationalization process and were uncertain about how much Ternium would get for Sidor, if anything.

Last month, however, Ternium announced that it would be receiving nearly $2 billion from Venezuela in installments payable through October 2010. Some $400 million has been received already.

The market value of Ternium prior to this announcement was just $2 billion. So the cash payments from Venezuela effectively accounted for TX's entire market value.

I'm not an expert on the steel industry, but I can count!

Even at the current the market value of $3.5 billion, TX is still cheap. And you have some technical leverage - 85% of Ternium is owned by a pair of conglomerates, so only 15% floats.

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