Steel Dynamics trims 4th-qtr. profit estimate

Dec 14, 2006 | 01:06 PM | Sam Kusic

Steel Dynamics Inc. (SDI) has lowered its fourth-quarter earnings guidance by 5 percent, saying that greater-than-anticipated softness in the flat-rolled steel sector will impact profits.

The Fort Wayne, Ind.,-based steelmaker is forecasting earnings in a range of $1 to $1.05 per diluted share, down from an October estimate of $1.05 to $1.10 per share. Despite the fourth-quarter softness, however, the company said it expects full-year earnings will be up more than 70 percent from 2005.

Following the news, Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., New York, lowered its estimates for SDI's fourth-quarter earnings to $1.05 per share from a previous estimate of $1.07.

SDI said flat-rolled steel accounts for about half of its total shipments and that since the middle of October the market softness has yielded weaker order entries and lower prices. As a result, SDI slowed the pace of production at its flat-roll mill, drawing back output to about 85 percent of capacity this month and in November, although shipments and backlogs remain strong for its structural steel, engineered bar, merchant bar and specialty shapes.....

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