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March 18 (Reuters) - Steelmaker Nucor Corp said on Tuesday it expects first-quarter earnings to be below its previous forecast in part because of severe winter weather.
Nucor forecast first-quarter earnings between 30 cents and 35 cents a share, up from 26 cents in the first quarter of 2013, but below fourth-quarter profit.
Bad weather has cut demand, reduced rail capacity and exacerbated the usual seasonal weakness in Nucor's construction products business, the company said. It added that steel imports are still weighing on prices and reducing margins at its bar and sheet mills.
Nucor said in January that first-quarter earnings would likely be similar to fourth-quarter results, excluding the impact of a tax adjustment in the earlier quarter. Fourth quarter earnings were 53 cents a share, including a 7 cent gain to correct deferred tax balances.
Shares were little changed in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange, down 0.3 percent at $49.33.