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VOL. 127 | NO. 78 | Friday, April 20, 2012

Nucor's Q1 Profit Falls as Shipments Slip

AP

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP)Nucor Corp. said Thursday that its first-quarter net income fell 9 percent. Shipments of steel declined slightly and prices didn't improve until the last month of the quarter.

Shares fell 5 percent in midday trading after the company forecast only a modest improvement in the second quarter.

Nucor said demand from manufacturers was strong, including auto makers, builders of heavy equipment and the energy industry. The construction market improved slightly and remained "very challenging," Nucor stated.

The Charlotte, N.C., manufacturer reported net income of $145.1 million, or 46 cents per share, in the first three months. That compared with net income of $159.8 million, or 50 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2011.

Revenue rose 5 percent to $5.07 billion from $4.83 billion.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet had predicted earnings of 43 cents per share on revenue of $5.03 billion. Such estimates typically exclude one-time items.

Nucor said its average sales price per ton of steel rose 6 percent during the quarter but shipments to outside customers fell 1 percent. Energy costs dropped $2 per ton from a year ago, primarily because of cheaper natural gas. It also said margins in its raw materials business were unexpectedly weak.

The steel industry has faced a challenging environment because of uncertainty about the pace of global economic growth. That led to weaker prices in January and February, although prices and demand improved in March.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 72 327 11,765
MORTGAGES 76 371 15,350
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 41 112 3,023
BUILDING PERMITS 382 972 28,226
BANKRUPTCIES 65 345 11,307
BUSINESS LICENSES 19 117 4,155
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 184 700 17,184
MARRIAGE LICENSES 20 100 3,564

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