Jan 28 Nucor Corp, the largest U.S.
steel producer, said on Tuesday that earnings rose in the fourth
quarter, helped by stronger sales and shipments as well as a
noncash gain related to deferred tax balances.
The earnings beat Nucor's own forecast made in December,
even excluding the impact of the tax gain and a smaller than
expected inventory charge.
North Carolina-based Nucor, which is the largest producer of
steel in the United States by volume, said it sees earnings in
the current quarter similar to the fourth quarter, excluding the
Seasonal weakness and bad weather may weigh on Nucor's
construction products business, but the company expects to
benefit from having fewer planned outages during the quarter.
Massive excess capacity has steelmakers under pressure
around the world. In the United States, output contracted 2
percent in 2013, but there was also a noticeable increase in
prices in the second half of the year as demand improved.
Nucor said total shipments to customers rose 10 percent from
the fourth quarter of 2012.
Net earnings increased to $170.5 million, or 53 cents a
share, from $136.9 million, or 43 cents, a year earlier. Net
sales rose 10 percent to $4.89 billion.
In December, Nucor had forecast fourth-quarter earnings of
35 to 40 cents a share, and analysts, on average, had been
expecting earnings of 40 cents on revenue of $4.78 billion,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Fourth quarter earnings included a 7 cent a share gain to
correct deferred tax balances and 4 cent charge on the value of
inventory, smaller than the 6 cent charge Nucor had forecast.
Shares edged higher, rising 0.7 percent at $48.77 in early
trading on the New York Stock Exchange.