Jan. 31, 2018

Nucor Profits Up in Fourth Quarter, Fiscal 2017

Nucor Corp. saw year-over-year increases in both its full-year and fourth-quarter earnings, the Charlotte, N.C.-based steelmaker announced.

The company reported net earnings of $1.3 billion in fiscal 2017, compared with net earnings of $796.3 million last year. Total net sales for the year increased 25 percent to $20.3 billion, while total tons shipped to outside customers in 2017 increased 9 percent to 26.5 million.

Nucor saw fourth-quarter net earnings increase to $383.9 million, compared with $159.6 million in the year-ago period. Consolidated net sales jumped 29 percent year over year to $5.1 billion, while total tons shipped to outside customers increased 13 percent from fourth-quarter 2016 to 6.5 million.

Both the steel mills and steel products segments reported increased net earnings in the quarter. Net earnings in the steel mills segment were $350 million, compared with $321.3 million a year ago. In the steel products segment, net earnings increased 43.7 percent to $74.8 million.

Despite year-over-year increases, the company said its steel mills segment was negatively impacted by several factors in the quarter. “The profitability of the steel mills segment in the fourth quarter of 2017 decreased from the third quarter of 2017 due to margin compression as imports, which surged in the summer of 2017, continued to work through to our end markets,” said John Ferriola, Nucor’s chairman, president and CEO at the company’s quarterly conference call with investors and analysts. “Weakness in plate steel negatively impacted the earnings of the steel mills segment in the fourth quarter of 2017, as compared to the third quarter of 2017.”

The company also noted the negative impacts of imports on the overall U.S. steel industry in fiscal 2017, saying total steel imports increased by 15.5 percent from the prior year.

Despite higher scrap prices and weather-related interruptions to start fiscal 2018, Nucor said it has a positive outlook for the upcoming quarter. “Earnings in the first quarter of 2018 are expected to increase compared to the fourth quarter of 2017, exclusive of the benefit recorded in the fourth quarter of 2017 related to tax reform,” Ferriola said. “We believe there is significant optimism in steel end-use markets and are encouraged by positive pricing momentum building throughout the quarter for all of our steel mill products.”


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Thursday, February 22, 2018