NEW YORK Nucor
Corp.s net income dipped slightly in the fourth quarter,
and the company anticipates further slippage as economic
uncertainty pressures future earnings results.
Fourth-quarter net income
attributable to Nucor stockholders totaled $136.9 million for
the three months ended Dec. 31, down 0.1 percent from $137.1
million in the same 2011 period, on net sales that fell 7.8
percent to $4.45 billion from $4.83 billion, the Charlotte,
N.C.-based steelmaker reported Jan. 29.
Nucor expects first-quarter 2013
earnings to fall below fourth-quarter levels due to a reversal
of an accounting credit that will result in a small charge in
the first quarter.
Construction markets, although
showing small improvement, remain at "historically anemic
levels," Nucor said.
"High import levels, volatility
in raw material costs and general economic uncertainty are all
factors that could undermine our expectations," it added.
Operating rates at the
companys steel mills totaled 71 percent during the
quarter, flat compared with the third quarter and the same
The steelmaker reported
full-year net income of $504.6 million, down 35.2 percent from
$778.2 million in 2011.
However, Nucor recorded a drop
in energy and raw material costs, with affordable natural gas
prices trimming energy costs by some $2 per ton in 2012
compared with 2011.
The average scrap and scrap
substitute cost for the fourth quarter was $372 per ton, down
2.1 percent from $380 per ton in the third quarter and a
decrease of 15.6 percent below the $441 per ton seen in the
fourth quarter of 2011.
Raw material costs for the full
year averaged $407 per ton, down 7.3 percent from $439 per ton
Meanwhile, construction of
Nucors 2.5-million-ton direct-reduced iron (DRI) facility
in Louisiana is on schedule for start-up in mid-2013, with the
majority of the equipment having arrived in 2012, the company