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Charlotte steelmaker Nucor reported lower-than-expected earnings in face of imports

A Nucor worker in Colfield sprays water on molten steel. Charlotte-based Nucor on Friday announced the retirement of its chairman and chief executive, John Ferriola, and named a longtime executive as its incoming CEO.
A Nucor worker in Colfield sprays water on molten steel. Charlotte-based Nucor on Friday announced the retirement of its chairman and chief executive, John Ferriola, and named a longtime executive as its incoming CEO. Observer file photo

Charlotte-based steel manufacturer Nucor on Thursday reported lower-than-expected earnings for the second quarter of 2017, even as its sales increased.

Diluted earnings-per-share stood at $1, lower than Wall Street analysts had expected by six cents. The company said imports are still negatively impacting the steel industry with large amounts of steel flooding into the U.S. and pushing the prices down. The company also said performance of its steel mills segment decreased in the quarter compared with the first quarter of 2017.

Net sales jumped 22 percent to $5.17 billion, up from $4.25 billion in 2016. Boosted by strong sales, Nucor reported net earnings of $323 million for the second quarter of 2017, up 25.9 percent.

In May, Nucor announced that it is investing $176 million to build a galvanizing line at its sheet mill in Ghent, Kentucky. The construction project is expected to be finished in two years, subject to regulatory approvals. Earlier in March, the company also announced it plans to expand the mills in Ohio.

Nucor manufactures steel products in the U.S. and Canada. The Charlotte corporate office has about 100 employees in SouthPark.

Trade and steel imports are emerging as a major issue for President Donald Trump’s administration. In early July, Trump told reporters that foreign countries are “dumping steel and destroying our steel industry, they’ve been doing it for decades, and I’m stopping it. It’ll stop.”

Dan DiMicco, former CEO of Nucor, served as a Trump trade advisor.

Wei Zhou: 704-358-5240

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