Charlotte-based Nucor reported third-quarter earnings Thursday that were down from last year but that beat Wall Street expectations. The steelmaker warned that a flood of steel imports will weigh on its earnings for the remainder of the year.
For the three months that ended Oct. 3, the company posted a profit of $227.13 million, or 71 cents a share, beating the consensus of Bloomberg-surveyed analysts, who estimated 47 cents a share. Third quarter earnings this year were down from $245.45 million, or 76 cents a share, in the same period last year.
Nucor’s sales fell to $4.23 billion for the quarter, down 26 percent from $5.70 billion in the third quarter last year. Quarterly sales also fell short of the Wall Street estimate of $4.51 billion.
Nucor has been vocal about the influx of steel imports, which push down its prices. The company said Thursday that steel prices and margins remain pressured by “exceptionally high levels of imports that continue to flood the domestic market.”
Imports comprised about 30 percent of the finished steel market so far this year, Nucor said, compared with 27 percent for the first nine months of 2014. The company reported that third-quarter steel mill shipments fell 10 percent from the same quarter in 2014.
The company warned that “continued deterioration in global steel markets” will be a drag on fourth quarter earnings.
“A slowing economy in China is causing further global overcapacity and resulting in significant levels of steel imports into the U.S. market,” Nucor said.
The steelmaker has its Charlotte headquarters in SouthPark, where it employs about 100 people.