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Announcement of Periodic Review:

Moody's announces completion of a periodic review for a group of Steel issuers

01 Jul 2022

New York, July 01, 2022 -- Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") has completed a periodic review of the ratings -and other ratings that are associated with the same analytical units for the rated entity(entities) listed below.

The review was conducted through a portfolio review discussion held on 24 June 2022 in which Moody's reassessed the appropriateness of the ratings in the context of the relevant principal methodology(ies), recent developments, and a comparison of the financial and operating profile to similarly rated peers. A possible outcome from periodic reviews is a referral of a rating to a rating committee.

This publication does not announce a credit rating action and is not an indication of whether or not a credit rating action is likely in the near future. Credit ratings and outlook/review status cannot be changed in a portfolio review and hence are not impacted by this announcement.

Key Rating Considerations

The principal methodology used for these rated entities was Steel published in November 2021. Please see the Rating Methodologies page on https://ratings.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

Key rating considerations on a forward-looking basis may include but are not limited to the following summarized below.

Steel

Scale: Scale, which is an indicator of the revenue-generating capability of a company, is important because it provides key indications of a steel producer's overall market strength, its importance to the markets it serves and its staying power. Given the cyclicality of the steel industry and the volatility of global steel prices, companies with larger scale generally have greater flexibility to manage their businesses through different price and demand scenarios. A large revenue base also leads to important economies of scale that lower overall costs for raw materials and corporate functions, such as finance, legal, tax and accounting costs. Larger companies also tend to generate higher cash flow for capital reinvestment and debt reduction. They also have greater access to the capital markets, which can reduce the cost of capital. Total revenue is an indicator of scale.

Business Profile: The business profile of a steel company is a consideration because it influences its ability to generate earnings and operating cash flows and the stability and sustainability of those flows. Core aspects of a steel company's business profile include its market position, cost-competitiveness, product mix and diversity of end-markets as well as its susceptibility to geopolitical events, all of which drive resilience to volatility.

Profitability and Efficiency: Profits are considered because they are needed to generate sustainable cash flow and maintain a competitive position, which includes making sufficient reinvestments in marketing, research, facilities, and human capital. The ability to sustain high profitability is generally a strong indicator of operating efficiency and of substantial competitive advantages, particularly if combined with evidence of stable or rising market share. EBIT Margin and EBIT-to-Tangible Assets are indicators of profitability and efficiency.

Leverage of Coverage: Leverage and cash flow coverage measures provide indications of the magnitude of financial risk a steel company is willing to undertake as well as its ability to sustain its competitive position, invest in growth opportunities and pay debt. Steel producers are generally less tolerant of a high degree of financial leverage than companies in other industries in which cash flow generation is more stable or prices are less volatile. Steel companies that maintain lower leverage have greater operational flexibility to manage changes in competitive and economic conditions and to invest in the business, either through organic growth or acquisitions. Ratios such as Debt-to-EBITDA, Debt-to-Book Capitalization, Cash from Operations less Dividends-to-Debt, and EBIT-to-Interest are indicators of leverage and coverage.

Financial Policy: Management and board tolerance for financial risk is a consideration because it directly affects debt levels, credit quality, and the risk of adverse changes in financing and capital structure. Financial risk tolerance serves as a guidepost to investment and capital allocation. Liquidity management is considered among overall risk management and can provide insight into risk tolerance.

Other Considerations: Other considerations may include financial controls and the quality of financial reporting, corporate legal structure, the quality and experience of management, assessments of corporate governance as well as environmental and social considerations, exposure to uncertain licensing regimes and possible government interference in some countries. Regulatory, litigation, liquidity, technology, and reputational risk as well as changes to consumer and business spending patterns, competitor strategies and macroeconomic trends also affect ratings.

• Arconic Corporation

• Carpenter Technology Corporation

• Century Aluminum Company

• Cleveland-Cliffs Inc.

• Commercial Metals Company

• Grinding Media Inc.

• JW Aluminum Continuous Cast Company

• Kaiser Aluminum Corporation

• Novelis Inc.

• Nucor Corporation

• Oxbow Carbon LLC

• Phoenix Services International LLC

• Rain Carbon Inc.

• Steel Dynamics, Inc.

• SunCoke Energy, Inc.

• TMS International Corp.

• United States Steel Corporation

• Zekelman Industries, Inc.

The principal methodology used for these rated entities was Manufacturing published in September 2021. Please see the Rating Methodologies page on https://ratings.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

Key rating considerations on a forward-looking basis may include but are not limited to the following summarized below.

Manufacturing

Scale:  Scale is a consideration because it is an indicator of the overall depth of a company's business and its success in attracting a variety of customers, as well as its resilience to shocks, such as sudden shifts in demand or rapid cost increases. Larger manufacturing companies typically attract a greater breadth of customers and can better withstand cyclicality resulting from economic conditions and product cycles. A larger revenue base also generally leads to important economies of scale in raw material purchases and corporate functions, particularly important given the need for global supply chain management to control costs for most manufacturing companies. Larger manufacturers also tend to generate higher cash flow for capital reinvestment and debt reduction. In addition, they generally have greater access to the capital markets, which can reduce the cost of capital. Revenue is an indicator of scale.

Business Profile:  The business profile of a manufacturing company is important because it greatly influences its ability to generate sustainable earnings and operating cash flows. Core aspects of a manufacturing company's business profile are its market position, the breadth and stability of the end-markets it serves, the diversity of its product offerings, as well as the effectiveness of the company's cost structure.

Profitability and Efficiency:  Profits are considered because they are needed to generate sustainable cash flow and maintain a competitive position, which includes an ability to invest in marketing, research, factories, and personnel. High profitability sustained over time is generally an indicator of operating efficiency and competitive advantage. EBITA Margin is an indicator of profitability and efficiency.

Leverage and Coverage:  Leverage and cash flow coverage measures provide indications of a company's financial flexibility and ability to sustain its competitive position, as well as how much financial risk a manufacturer is willing to undertake. A manufacturer with strong financial flexibility is better able to invest in product innovation and adapt to changing customer preferences and competitive challenges than a manufacturer with a constrained capital structure. The capital intensity of the manufacturing sector also makes financial flexibility critical to absorbing unexpected costs and withstanding industry cyclicality. Indicators of leverage and coverage include ratios such as: Debt/ EBITDA, EBITA/ Interest Expense, Free Cash Flow/ Debt, and Retained Cash Flow/ Net Debt.

Financial Policy:  Financial policy encompasses management and board tolerance for financial risk and commitment to a strong credit profile. It is an important rating determinant because it directly affects debt levels, credit quality, the future direction for the company and the risk of adverse changes in financing and capital structure. Financial risk tolerance serves as a guidepost to investment and capital allocation. Liquidity management is an important aspect of overall risk management and can provide insight into risk tolerance.

Other Rating Considerations:  Other considerations may include but are not limited to: financial controls and the quality of financial reporting; corporate legal structure; the quality and experience of management; assessments of corporate governance, as well as environmental and social considerations; exposure to uncertain licensing regimes; and possible government interference in some countries. Regulatory, litigation, liquidity, technology, and reputational risk, as well as changes to consumer and business spending patterns, competitor strategies and macroeconomic trends, are also considered.

• AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group N.V.

• Atkore Inc.

• AZZ Inc.

• Worthington Industries, Inc.

The principal methodology used for these rated entities was Chemicals published in June 2022. Please see the Rating Methodologies page on https://ratings.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

Key rating considerations on a forward-looking basis may include but are not limited to the following summarized below.

Chemicals

Scale:  Scale is considered because it is an indicator of a company's revenue-generating capability and its resilience to shocks, such as sudden shifts in demand or rapid cost increases. Scale also greatly influences a chemical company's market strength and the availability of capital. Additionally, scale is an important indicator of a chemical company's capacity to sustain earnings and generate cash flow. Scale can provide indications of a chemical company's other strengths, including resilience to changes in product demand, cost absorption, research and development capabilities and bargaining strength with customers and raw material suppliers. Scale is measured using total reported revenue, and net property, plant & equipment.

Business Profile:  The business profile of a chemical company is important because it greatly influences its ability to generate sustainable earnings and operating cash flows.  Our assessment is based on our expectations for cash flow volatility. Core aspects of a chemical company's business profile are its market position, product and geographic diversity, operational execution as well as technological leadership and market position prospects, all of which can reduce volatility through economic cycles.

Profitability:  Profitability is an important indicator of a chemical company's strength and durability and can reflect the competitiveness of its product portfolio. It provides some indication of a chemical company's ability to withstand economic downturns, reinvest in fixed assets and service debt and other obligations. Relative cost position is important for chemical companies because in cyclical or economic downturns, product prices often decline to the point where only companies with lower costs generate meaningful cash flow. Profitability can be an important indicator of how much value a company's products add and whether they are specialty in nature or commodity-like, or of its operating cost efficiency.  A chemical company's operating cost position is a function of a number of characteristics that include its size, access to low-cost raw materials, location of assets, labor costs and capital invested. EBITA Margin and Return on Average Assets are indicators of profitability.

Leverage and Coverage:  Leverage and cash flow coverage measures provide important indications of a chemical company's financial flexibility and long-term viability. Strength in this area is an indicator of a company's investment capabilities, and its ability to withstand business cycle fluctuations and respond to unexpected challenges.  Among others, ratios such as Debt/ EBITDA, Retained Cash Flow/ Debt, and EBITDA/ Interest Expense are indicators of leverage and coverage.

Financial Policy:  Financial policy encompasses management and board tolerance for financial risk and commitment to a strong credit profile. It is an important rating determinant, because it directly affects debt levels, credit quality, the future direction for the company and the risk of adverse changes in financing and capital structure. Financial risk tolerance serves as a guidepost for investment and capital allocation.  Liquidity management is also an important aspect of overall risk management and can provide insight into risk tolerance.

Other Factors:  Other factors may include, but are not limited to, financial controls and the quality of financial reporting; corporate legal structure; the quality and experience of management; assessments of corporate governance as well as environmental and social considerations; exposure to uncertain licensing regimes; and possible government interference in some countries. Regulatory, litigation, liquidity, technology, and reputational risk as well as changes to consumer and business spending patterns, competitor strategies and macroeconomic trends are also considered.

• GrafTech Finance, Inc.

The principal methodology used for these rated entities was Distribution & Supply Chain Services Industry published in June 2018. Please see the Rating Methodologies page on https://ratings.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

Key rating considerations on a forward-looking basis may include but are not limited to the following summarized below.

Distribution & Supply Chain Services Industry

Scale:  Larger scale can be an indicator of a company's ability to influence business trends and pricing within its service segments and to support a stable or growing market position. Scale also can be an indicator of greater resilience to changes in demand, geographic diversity, cost absorption, R&D capabilities and greater bargaining strength with customers, labor, and vendors. Scale is measured using total reported revenue and adjusted EBITA.

Business Profile:  We consider the underlying demand characteristics of a company's service offerings and its relative breadth, strength, and durability of demand.

Profitability and Efficiency:  Profitable returns matter because they are necessary to maintain a business' competitive position, including sufficient reinvestment in operations, marketing, research, facilities, and human capital. Sustained high profitability is generally a strong indicator of substantial competitive advantages, particularly if combined with evidence of a stable or rising market share. For issuers in the supply chain sector, working capital management matters, especially when considering the typically low operating margins that necessitate maintaining strong liquidity and low cash conversion cycles. The Operating margin and Return on Invested Capital are indicators of profitability and efficiency.

Leverage and Coverage:  Leverage and coverage measures are indicators of a company's financial flexibility and long-term viability, including their ability to adapt to changes in economic and business environment in the segments in which they operate. Among others, ratios such as Debt/ EBITDA, EBITA/ Interest Expense, and Retained Cash Flow/ Debt are indicators of leverage and coverage.

Financial Policy:  We consider management and board tolerance for financial risk as it directly affects debt levels, credit quality and the risk of adverse changes in financing and capital structure.  We assess the issuer's desired capital structure or targeted credit profile, history of prior actions and adherence to its commitments. Attention is paid to management's operating performance and use of cash flow through different phases of economic and industry cycles. Also of interest is the way in which management responds to key events, such as changes in the credit markets and liquidity environment, legal actions, competitive challenges, and regulatory pressures. Management's appetite for M&A activity is assessed, with a focus on the type of transactions and funding decisions.

Other Factors:  Other factors may include, but are not limited to, our assessment of the quality of management, corporate governance, financial controls, liquidity management, event risk, and seasonality.

• Russel Metals, Inc.

This announcement applies only to Rated Entities with EU rated, UK rated, EU endorsed and UK endorsed ratings. Rated Entities, with Non EU rated, non UK rated, non EU endorsed and non UK endorsed ratings may be referenced herein to the extent necessary, if they are part of the same analytical unit.

Please see the Issuer page on https://ratings.moodys.com for each of the ratings covered, most updated credit rating action, rating history, and Credit Rating action Press Release including the rating rationale and factors that could lead to a rating upgrade or downgrade.

This publication does not announce a credit rating action.

For any credit ratings referenced in this publication, please see the issuer/deal page on https://ratings.moodys.com

for the most updated credit rating action information and rating history.


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