Steel Mills

Nucor Sees Opportunities Beyond Steelmaking: Topalian

Nucor’s growth strategy goal “is not simply about being the biggest steel company,” Nucor chair, president and CEO Leon Topalian said.


“As we evaluate and pursue new, ‘expand beyond’ platforms, we’re focused on opportunities that leverage our core capability as an efficient industrial manufacturer and are aligned with steel-intensive mega-trends or themes,” Topalian said.

He made the comments during a second-quarter earnings conference call with analysts on Tuesday, July 25. The “expand beyond” is in reference to Nucor’s stated mission of growing its core business and expanding beyond that while maintaining the company’s culture.

Topalian noted that recent passing of legislation to release federal funding in infrastructure and in technology is “helping to drive these megatrends, and Nucor intends to capitalize on them further to grow and diversify our earnings potential.”

One example: Nucor’s purchase of CHI Overhead Doors business for $3 billion in May 2022. As for other potential targets, Topalian said “there are a lot of irons in the fire” but declined to specify any sectors.

Regarding that diversification, Nucor is looking for businesses “that generate more consistent through-cycle earnings profiles than the traditional cyclicality of the steel business,” Topalian said. But he also stressed that Nucor did not want to become a “conglomerate.”

And while steel is still cyclical, there have been “substantive shifts” in the industry, Topalian said.

“We’ve seen consolidation. We’ve seen rationalization, and we’ve seen a massive change in trade,” he said. That has created “outcomes that are much more advantageous, that are stabilizing those earnings.”

He added: “So we expect peaks to be much higher. And, quite frankly, we don’t expect the troughs that we saw pre-pandemic to occur for us.”

Another important factor is trade policy. “The overcapacity situation in the world will never, ever be gone. Our advocacy has got to remain vigilant,” Topalian said. He praised the work of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai in maintaining that vigilance.

By Ethan Bernard,

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