Nucor Corp. is the “sector's best positioned company, and it could play an important role as an acquirer domestically and internationally,” according to Goldman Sachs. The analyst further indicated that the Charlotte, N.C.-based steelmaker is positioned well to meet the challenges of the current economic climate in the steel industry.

Another steel player receiving recognition is Universal Stainless & Alloy Products, Inc. Forbes magazine ranked Universal Stainless as number 82 on its annual list of the 200 Best Small Companies in America for 2008. This is the third consecutive year Universal Stainless has been so honored.

Nucor’s “mini-mill” electric-arc-furnace operations can be shut down and restarted more quickly than traditional blast furnaces to adjust for weaker demand. The company said its third-quarter profit nearly doubled mainly because of robust sales from recently acquired steel and scrap-metal companies.

Also utilizing a mini-mill operating system, the Bridgeville, Pa.-based Universal Stainless & Alloy Products, Inc. manufactures and markets semi-finished and finished specialty steels, including stainless steel, tool steel and some other alloyed steels.