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I thought you'd enjoy this take on AP. There's not much meat on valuation, but a few of the author's points did sound strikingly familiar... :)




• AP recently hit a 52-week low, and is trading well below its current book value.
• AP's 2014 earnings were depressed by a one-time hit on asbestos litigation.
• AP has been paying a steady dividend of 18 cents per quarter, and has a strong balance sheet.
• AP's inputs, energy and ferrous scrap costs, are both on the decline.

Why I'm bullish
And that's where the good news starts coming in, and why I'm flat out flummoxed by the company testing its lows for the year. As stated before, this is basically a steel company we're talking about. They have three major input costs, labor, energy, and ferrous scrap.

Labor costs in the US are more or less flat this year, so let's ignore that for the time being and focus on the other two. Electricity prices soared in 2014, and that's likely where a lot of the additional expenses (litigation aside) came from. With the prices of oil and coal dropping substantially off their 2014 highs, the energy costs for Ampco-Pittsburgh should be less of an obstacle.

Then there's the real good news. Ferrous scrap prices were more or less flat throughout most of 2014 but have started dropping in early 2015, which means the substantial input for all those steel rolls and air duct systems is going down with it.

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