Steel Mills

Nucor's Q4 earnings slip on lower prices

Written by Stephanie Ritenbaugh

Nucor Corp.

Fourth quarter ended Dec.3120232022% Change
Net sales$7,705$8,724-12%
Net earnings (loss)$785$1,256– 37%
Per diluted share$3.16$4.89– 35%
Full year ended Dec.31
Net sales$34,714$41,512-16%
Net earnings (loss)$4,525$7,607-41%
Per diluted share$18.00$28.79-37%
(in millions of dollars except per share)

Nucor Corp. reported a decline in profits during the fourth quarter due to lower pricing and volumes.

The North Carolina-based company saw net earnings of $785.4 million during the final three months of 2023. That total is down compared to the $1.1 billion reported for the third quarter and the $1.2 billion for Q4’22.

Lower prices and volumes hit Nucor’s three operating divisions: steel mills, which make things such as sheet, plate, and rebar; steel products, which includes downstream offerings such as piling and fabrications; and raw materials, which includes its scrap recycling and direct-reduced iron (DRI) operations.

Nucor shipped 2.675 million short tons of sheet steel in Q4’23, a 16% year on year (y/y) increase. Plate shipments of 373,000 st were 1% lower y/y.

Planned outages at the company’s DRI facilities also dragged down earnings in the raw materials segment.

For the full year, Nucor reported consolidated net earnings of $4.5 billion, down from $7.6 billion in 2022, the company said in commentary released with earnings data after the market closed on Monday, Jan. 29.

Full-year sheet shipments of 11 million st and plate shipments of 1.8 million st were higher y/y by 7% and 11%, respectively.

Looking ahead, Nucor expects the first three months of 2024 will reveal a better bottom line.

Earnings in the steel mills segment are expected to rise due to higher average selling prices and volumes, particularly at sheet mills, Nucor stated, while earnings in the steel products segment are expected to drop due to lower average selling prices.

“We expect increased earnings in the raw materials segment in the first quarter of 2024 due to the increased profitability of our DRI facilities and our scrap processing and brokerage operations,” Nucor added.

Stephanie Ritenbaugh

Read more from Stephanie Ritenbaugh

Latest in Steel Mills