Nucor Corporation announced consolidated net earnings of $85.1M, or $0.27 per diluted share, for Q2 2013 up just 0.35% on net earnings of $84.8M, or $0.26 per diluted share, in Q1 2013 but down 24.2% on net earnings of $112.3M, or $0.35 per diluted share, in Q2 2012.
In the first half of 2013, Nucor reported consolidated net earnings of $169.9M, or $0.53 per diluted share, down 34% on the same period 2012 when consolidated net earnings reached $257.4M, or $0.81 per diluted share.
Consolidated net sales increased 3% to $4.67bn in Q2 2013 compared with $4.55bn in Q1 2013 but decreased 8% compared with $5.10bn in Q2 2012. Average sales price per US short ton increased slightly from Q1 2013 but decreased 7% from Q2 2012. Total tons shipped to outside customers were 5.839M stons in Q2 2013, a 2% increase over Q1 2013 and a decrease of 1% from Q2 2012. Total second quarter steel mill shipments decreased 3% from Q2 2012 and were down 1% from Q1 2013. Second quarter downstream steel products shipments to outside customers decreased 4% compared to Q2 2012 but increased 19% over Q1 2013.
In the first half of 2013, Nucor's consolidated net sales decreased 9% to $9.22bn, compared with $10.18bn in last year's first half. Total tons shipped to outside customers decreased 3% from H1 2012, while average sales price per ton decreased 7%.
For inputs, average scrap and scrap substitute cost per ton used in Q2 2013 was $377, a slight decrease from $379 in Q1 2013 and a decrease of 12% from $427 in Q2 2012. The average scrap and scrap substitute cost per ton used in H1 2013 was $378, a decrease of 13% from $436 in H1 2012.
Overall operating rates of Nucor’s steel mills in Q2 2013 was 73%, up slightly from Q1 2013 (72%) but a fall from last year's second quarter (76%). Steel mill utilization decreased from 77% in the first half of 2012 to 73% in the first half of 2013.
Construction is nearing completion on Nucor’s 2.5M ston DRI facility in Louisiana which is on schedule for completion of construction and beginning of start-up late in the third quarter of 2013.
Nucor expect to see a modest improvement in earnings for Q3 2013 with improvements in sheet steel prices, which dropped to their lowest level since November 2010 in June but have since begun to slowly rebound. Margins on sheet steel have followed a similar trend and are slowly recovering from lows in Q2 2013. The automotive and energy markets remain strong, while the construction market remains challenged. Nucor also expect to see increased earnings from their downstream businesses in Q3, continuing the upward trend observed in Q2. Its scrap yard operation − David J. Joseph − are expected to benefit from the bottoming of scrap pricing in the second quarter.