Steel Mills

Outages to Affect Nucor Q4 Results

Written by Sandy Williams

Planned outages and the collapse of the storage dome at Nucor Steel Louisiana negatively impacted earnings said Nucor in its fourth quarter guidance. Earnings per diluted share are expected to be in the range of $0.30-$0.40, down from third quarter 2013 earnings of $0.46 per diluted share and fourth quarter 2012 earnings of $0.43 per diluted share.

Sheet Steel profits are up due to higher sheet steel prices, competitor supply disruptions and improved demand and despite a three-week maintenance outage at the Berkeley County, South Carolina mill. Profits were offset, however by a reduced performance at Nucor’s bar and structural mills due to extended planned outages for capital projects at the SBQ mill in Norfolk, Nebraska and the structural mill in Blytheville, Arkansas.

The raw materials segment is expected to report weaker results due to increased start-up costs at the new DRI plant in Louisiana and additional costs related to the storage dome collapse. The Louisiana DRI facility is expected to begin production by the end of the year.

Economically, manufactured goods, such as automotive and energy, are the strongest end markets. Non-residential construction lacks momentum, says Nucor, but is improving slowly.

Nucor and Ecana Oil and Gas have agreed to suspend drilling of new natural gas wells due to a weak natural gas pricing environment. Cessation of drilling will save $400 million in capital expenditures for Nucor in 2014.

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