NUCOR REPORTS RESULTS FOR FIRST QUARTER OF 2013
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA, April 18, 2013 – Nucor Corporation (NYSE: NUE) announced today consolidated net earnings of $84.8 million, or $0.26 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2013. By comparison, Nucor reported net earnings of $145.1 million, or $0.46 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2012 and net earnings of $136.9 million, or $0.43 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Nucor incurred a charge to value inventories using the last-in, first-out (LIFO) method of accounting of $18.0 million ($0.03 per diluted share) in the first quarter of 2013, compared with a charge of $14.5 million ($0.03 per diluted share) in the first quarter of 2012 and a credit of $71.9 million ($0.14 per diluted share) in the fourth quarter of 2012. Also affecting earnings in the first quarter 2012 was a non-cash gain of $12.6 million ($0.04 per diluted share) related to the recognition of state tax credits and the adjustment of tax expense to previously filed returns.
Nucor’s consolidated net sales decreased 10% to $4.55 billion in the first quarter of 2013 from $5.07 billion in the first quarter of 2012 and increased 2% compared with $4.45 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012. Average sales price per ton decreased 7% from the first quarter of 2012 and decreased 2% from the fourth quarter of 2012. Total tons shipped to outside customers were 5,706,000 tons in the first quarter of 2013, a 4% decrease from the first quarter of 2012 and a 4% increase over the fourth quarter of 2012.
The average scrap and scrap substitute cost per ton used during the first quarter of 2013 was $379, a decrease of 15% from $445 in the first quarter of 2012 and an increase of 2% compared to $372 in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Overall operating rates at our steel mills decreased to 72% in the first quarter of 2013 as compared to 79% in the first quarter of 2012, but increased from 71% in the fourth quarter of 2012. th consecutive quarterly cash dividend, a record we expect to continue.
Total energy costs in the first quarter of 2013 increased approximately $1 per ton compared to the first quarter of 2012 attributable mainly to the increased cost of electricity due to lower production volumes and increased unit costs. Energy costs decreased approximately $1 per ton from the fourth quarter of 2012 due mainly to decreased natural gas costs.
Construction is progressing on our 2,500,000-ton DRI facility in Louisiana. Due to extreme weather conditions in the first quarter, we now expect to start up late in the third quarter of 2013.
Our liquidity position remains strong with $1.08 billion in cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments, and restricted cash and investments, and an untapped $1.5 billion revolving credit facility that matures in December 2016.
In February, Nucor’s board declared a cash dividend of $0.3675 per share payable on May 10, 2013 to stockholders of record on March 28, 2013. This dividend is Nucor’s 160th consecutive quarterly cash dividend, a record we expect to continue.
Metal margins at our steel mills for the first quarter remained flat compared with the fourth quarter of 2012. Overall, our steel mills have not experienced the seasonal improvement in volume and pricing that is typical in the first quarter of the year. As expected, our downstream steel products segment experienced a seasonal slowdown in the first quarter, and that segment reported a modest loss following three straight quarters of profitable operating performance. Our raw materials segment also reported weaker results due to an unplanned 18 day outage at our Trinidad DRI facility and weather-related effects negatively impacting the flow of scrap in our scrap processing business.
For the second quarter of 2013, we currently expect to see some improvement in earnings driven by better performance at our fabricated construction products businesses (rebar fabrication, joist and decking and pre-engineered metal buildings), raw materials businesses and most steel mill product groups, partially offset by weaker performance in sheet steel. Import levels and general economic and political uncertainty continue to negatively affect our business. We continue to be cautiously optimistic about non-residential construction markets in 2013 as they continue to improve slowly from historically low levels. The strongest end markets continue to be in manufactured goods including energy and automotive.
Risk Factors. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release speak only as of this date, and Nucor does not assume any obligation to update them.
Nucor and affiliates are manufacturers of steel products, with operating facilities primarily in the U.S. and Canada. Products produced include: carbon and alloy steel -- in bars, beams, sheet and plate; steel piling; steel joists and joist girders; steel deck; fabricated concrete reinforcing steel; cold finished steel; steel fasteners; metal building systems; steel grating and expanded metal; and wire and wire mesh. Nucor, through The David J. Joseph Company, also brokers ferrous and nonferrous metals, pig iron and HBI/DRI; supplies ferro-alloys; and processes ferrous and nonferrous scrap. Nucor is North America's largest recycler.
Certain statements contained in this news release are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. The words "believe," "expect," "project," "will," "should," "could" and similar expressions are intended to identify those forward-looking statements. Factors that might cause the Company’s actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: (1) the sensitivity of the results of our operations to prevailing steel prices and the changes in the supply and cost of raw materials, including scrap steel; (2) market demand for steel products; (3) energy costs and availability; and (4) competitive pressure on sales and pricing, including competition from imports and substitute materials. These and other factors are discussed in Nucor’s regulatory filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including those in Nucor’s December 31, 2012 Annual Report on Form 10-K, Item 1A.