Charlotte-based steelmaker Nucor Corp. said Tuesday it expects its third-quarter earnings to be lower than last year, as volatile prices, imported steel, and global uncertainty pressure the company.
Nucors forecast calls for earnings of 30 to 35 cents per diluted share, compared with 57 cents during the same quarter last year.
Our lower performance in the third quarter of 2012 is mainly due to decreased operating performance at our steel mills, which experienced decreased profitability, particularly at our sheet mills, said Nucor executives, via a news release. Lower steel mill margins are primarily the result of rising imports. ... Slowing economic growth both domestically and globally are also factors.
Cheap imports of Chinese steel have been a political issue, as steel companies and their allies have pushed for tariffs against foreign competition.
The company said volatile scrap prices and a combination of political and economic uncertainty in global markets that is beginning to affect steel buyer confidence is hurting the amount of steel companies are buying to stock throughout the supply chain.
Nucor will also take charges totaling 9 cents in the third quarter related to a $26 million accounting adjustment from its recent acquisition of Skyline Steel and a $17.6 million loss on the sale of Nucor Wire Products Pennsylvania.
Heavy equipment, energy, and automotive companies are Nucors strongest end markets for steel right now, the company said.
In July, Nucor reported a second-quarter profit of $112 million, or 35 cents per diluted share. That was down from a $145 million profit in the same quarter last year, or 46 cents per diluted share.
Nucor closed down 2 cents, less than 1 percent, at $39.83 Tuesday.