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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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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 109 433 13,330
MORTGAGES 114 591 17,349
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 11 93 3,391
BUILDING PERMITS 0 366 30,930
BANKRUPTCIES 76 352 12,695
BUSINESS LICENSES 21 108 4,597
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 77 564 19,457
MARRIAGE LICENSES 29 151 4,060

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