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Nucor Profit Exceeds Analysts’ Estimates as Scrap Prices Decline

Nucor Corp., the largest U.S. steelmaker by market value, posted third-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates after a decline in the price of scrap metal used as a raw material.

Net income declined to $110.3 million, or 35 cents a share, from $181.5 million, or 57 cents, a year earlier, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company said today in a statement. Earnings excluding a loss on an asset sale and a charge related to the purchase of inventory were 45 cents, exceeding the 43-cent average of 14 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Sales dropped 8.6 percent to $4.8 billion from $5.25 billion, missing the $4.83 billion average of 14 estimates.

The average scrap costs in the quarter decreased 11 percent to $380 a ton from $427 in the previous quarter and 15 percent from a year earlier, Nucor said in the statement.

Steelmaking costs at U.S. electric arc furnaces, a type of plant Nucor uses to remelt scrap, averaged $524 a metric ton in the quarter, 16 percent less than a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The price of No. 1 heavy melt, a grade of scrap steel, dropped 17 percent to $365 a ton in the same period, according to Metal Bulletin data.

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