Nucor Earnings Miss Estimates After Steel Prices Decline

Nucor Corp., the largest U.S. steelmaker by market value, forecast first-quarter earnings that missed analysts estimates after a decline in the price of the metal.

Net income will fall to 20 cents to 25 cents a share, from 46 cents a year earlier, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company said in a statement today. The projection includes a 3-cent-a-share inventory expense and a 4-cent tax-related gain.

The guidance lagged the 37-cent average of 16 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The shares dropped 0.2 percent to $46.43 in New York.

“Our steel mills have not experienced the seasonal improvement that is typical in the first quarter,” Nucor said in the statement. The company’s downstream steel products unit will report a loss, it said.

Hot-rolled steel coil, a benchmark product used in cars, trucks and appliances has fallen 5.7 percent to $605 a short ton this year, according data from The Steel Index. The price is 13 percent lower than a year earlier.

(Updates with closing share price in third paragraph.)
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