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Charlotte-based Nucor reports lower-than-expected earnings

Edwin Garcia, production supervisor, looks over finished orders of steel waiting to be shipped, January 4, 2011, at the Nucor Cold Finish Group plant in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
Edwin Garcia, production supervisor, looks over finished orders of steel waiting to be shipped, January 4, 2011, at the Nucor Cold Finish Group plant in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. MCT

Charlotte-based Nucor reported third quarter earnings Thursday that were up from the same period last year thanks to higher steel prices. But the company provided a gloomy outlook for its results in the fourth quarter.

For the three months ending Oct. 1, the steelmaker reported a profit of $270 million, or 84 cents a share, up from $227 million, or 71 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.

Nucor said an accounting charge of $59.3 million, or 12 cents a share, reduced earnings in the most recent quarter.

Sales for the quarter rose to $4.29 billion, up from $4.23 billion in the third quarter last year. The price per ton of steel for the quarter, Nucor said, was 2 percent higher than it was last year. Wall Street analysts surveyed by Reuters, however, had expected revenue of $4.5 billion.

Nucor said it expects fourth quarter earnings will fall, primarily because of lower margins in the steel mills segment, “with the most significant impact being on the sheet mills.”

The steel maker was No. 170 on the most recent Fortune 500 list.

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