Steel Mills

Nucor posts lower Q1 profits, predicts dip in Q2 too

Written by Ethan Bernard

First quarter ended March 3020242023% Change
Net sales$8,137$8,710-6.6%
Net income (loss)$844.8$1,136.5-25.7%
Per diluted share$3.46$4.45-22.2%
(in millions of dollars except per share)

Nucor’s earnings slipped in the first quarter of this year, and the company said that Q2’24 earnings were likely to be lower as well.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based steelmaker posted net earnings of $844.8 million in Q1’24 ended March 30, down 26% from $1.14 billion a year earlier. Net sales slid 7% to $8.14 billion in the same comparison.

“Nucor’s performance continues to be strong even as steel market conditions have come off their post-pandemic record highs,” Nucor Chair, President and CEO Leon Topalian said in a statement on Monday.

“We also took several bold steps to advance our growth, sustainability, and commercial strategies during the first quarter,” he added. 

Topalian cited increased capabilities in the data center market, new partnerships to supply customers with low-carbon steel, and developments in clean energy.

That said, total steel mill shipments in the first quarter of 2024 were 5.89 million short tons, down 2% compared to the first quarter of 2023.


The company said its steel mills segment’s earnings rose in Q1’24 vs. the previous quarter, “primarily due to higher average selling prices and increased volumes, particularly at our sheet mills.”

Meanwhile, earnings in Nucor’s downstream steel products segment slipped in the same comparison “due to lower average selling prices and decreased volumes.”

Earnings in the raw materials segment rose quarter over quarter, Nucor said.

Q2 outlook

Looking ahead, Nucor expects Q2’24 earnings to decrease compared to Q1’24.

Nucor cited anticipated lower earnings in the steel mills segment as the biggest driver for the expected decrease. The reason: The company expects that increased sales volumes will not be able to offset lower average selling prices.

Also, the steel products segment is expected to have “moderately decreased earnings” in Q2’24 vs. Q1’24. That is likewise due to increased volumes only partially making up for lower average selling prices.

Meanwhile, earnings in the raw materials segment are anticipated to be higher in the second quarter vs. the first quarter. The gains there are expected to come from increased profitability at the company’s direct-reduced iron (DRI) facilities and scrap processing operations.

Ethan Bernard

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