Nucor on Thursday said third-quarter profits rose 66 percent from a year ago as the Charlotte-based steelmaker saw continued strong demand from the automotive sector.
But the Fortune 500 company said it expects a moderate decrease in earnings in the fourth quarter because of typical end-of-the year seasonality. Nucor’s shares fell a little more than 1 percent to $51.12 Thursday.
Nucor reported net income of $245.4 million, or 76 cents per share, up from $147.6 million, or 46 cents per share, in the same period a year ago. The results beat the company’s previous guidance of earnings per share between 70 and 75 cents, helped by better-than-expected performance in its steel mills division.
In a conference call with analysts, chief executive John Ferriola called it a “solid quarter” in a still “very challenging” steel market. The company, for example, said nonresidential construction markets were improving but remained at historically low levels.
Net sales increased 15 percent from a year ago to $5.7 billion. Nucor said its strongest markets for its steel mills continued to be manufactured goods, including automotive.
Earlier this month, after the quarter ended, the company completed its $770 million acquisition of Gallatin Steel in Ghent, Ky. Nucor remains on the hunt for potential acquisitions at the right price, Ferriola said.