NEW YORK Steel Dynamics
Inc. (SDI) expects its fourth-quarter earnings to be similar to
results reported for the previous three months and year-ago
quarter due to relatively flat shipment levels.
The Fort Wayne, Ind.-based
steelmaker is forecasting earnings of 18 to 22 cents per
diluted share for the quarter ending Dec. 31, SDI said late
Monday. Steel product market demand has been relatively
unchanged during the final quarter of the year, with improved
ferrous scrap margins helping to offset lower volumes in the
companys metals recycling business, SDI said.
That forecast compares with
adjusted earnings earnings of 15 cents per diluted share in the
third quarter and 14 cents per diluted share in the fourth
quarter of 2011.
"Fourth-quarter overall steel
shipments are expected to be fairly flat in comparison to the
third quarter, as increases in sheet volume are expected to be
somewhat offset by decreased shipments at the Roanoke Bar and
Engineered Bar divisions, with customers continuing to maintain
tight control over inventory," SDI said.
In mid-November, SDI joined
other producers in boosting published prices for rebar and
merchant bar products from its Roanoke, Va., unit (
amm.com, Dec. 11).
Meanwhile, domestic sheet
mills order books were said to have been booked out
through year-end as customers bought at a perceived pricing
floor in mid-October, flat-rolled market sources have told
Nov. 14), although bookings have since started flagging.
Domestic flat-rolled producers have announced three rounds of
price hikes during the final quarter of the calendar year.
Meanwhile, SDI said that
protracted uncertainty continues to plague steel demand.
"The combination of global
economic and political uncertainty continues to impact customer
confidence and buying patterns," the steelmaker said
Although SDI said it has seen
"slightly" lower levels at its fabrication operations, it
expects the unit to remain profitable during the quarter.
The company also noted that its
metals recycling business will actually show "some improvement"
during the final three months of the year compared with the
third quarter, thanks to higher margins in the ferrous scrap
SDI also will benefit from a tax
adjustment during the fourth quarter that is expected to boost
results by about 6 cents per diluted share, it said.