Here’s how the BlueScope (ASX:BSL) share price leapt 20% in 2021

workers jump in air at steel factory

The BlueScope Steel Limited (ASX: BSL) share price had a ripper 2021 despite the company staying relatively quiet.

In fact, the only time the market heard price-sensitive news from the manufacturer of steel products was whenever it released results or updated earnings guidance.

At the end of 2020, the BlueScope share price was going for $17.48. Come the final session of 2021, the company’s stock finished at $20.90.

That sees it posting a 19.5% gain for the 12-month period. For comparison, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) increased 13% over the same period.

Let’s take a closer look at what helped drive the company’s stock last year.

Here’s what drove the BlueScope share price in 2021

The year started off well for BlueScope when it released an exciting update in January.

It announced that its preliminary unaudited earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) for the first half of financial year 2021 was expected to be 11.5% higher than its previous guidance, coming in at around $530 million. The company also provided a positive business update.

The market’s excitement over the profit increase pushed the BlueScope share price 3% higher, and another 2% higher when its preliminary expectations were confirmed the following month.

In February, BlueScope announced its net profit after tax (NPAT) increased 78% over the 6 months ended 31 December, coming in at $330.3 million.

Another profit upgrade boosted the company’s stock in April. Though, its biggest gain came in July when it released its preliminary, unaudited, underlying results for financial year 2021.

The company announced its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) was expected to be around $1.72 billion. That was confirmed in the company’s official full year results, released in August.

Impressively, the company’s EBITDA ended up being nearly $1 billion more than the bottom of its initial guidance. It was also 207% more than it was in financial year 2020.

As a result, the company announced a 25 cent final dividend and a 19 cent special dividend. It also announced a $500 million share buyback.

The final news to boost the BlueScope share price in 2021 was released in October. Readers may assume it was news of another profit upgrade, and they would be correct.

The company’s stock gained 0.75% when it announced it expects its underlying EBIT for the first half of financial year 2022 to be between $2.1 billion and $2.3 billion – $300 million more than it previously predicted.

The post Here’s how the BlueScope (ASX:BSL) share price leapt 20% in 2021 appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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