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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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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 57 307 5,073
MORTGAGES 101 483 6,709
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 22 77 1,556
BUILDING PERMITS 0 720 11,979
BANKRUPTCIES 84 341 5,300
BUSINESS LICENSES 36 125 2,061
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 152 594 7,058
MARRIAGE LICENSES 36 117 1,458

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