Nucor Corporation, the USA’s largest minimill group, announced consolidated net earnings up at $147.6M, or $0.46 per diluted share, for the third quarter (Q3) of 2013. By comparison, Nucor reported net earnings of $85.1M, or $0.27 per diluted share, in Q2 2013 and net earnings of $110.3M, or $0.35 per diluted share, in Q3 2012.
In the first nine months of 2013, the company had consolidated net earnings of $317.5M, or $0.99 per diluted share, down slightly on consolidated net earnings of $367.7M, or $1.15 per diluted share, in the first nine months of 2012.
Q3 2013 earnings were negatively affected by a net $14.0M ($0.03 per diluted share) partial write down of inventory and fixed asset balances associated with the collapse of a storage dome at its new DRI plant under construction in Louisiana on September 25, 2013. There were no injuries sustained, and there was no environmental impact. But, start-up of operations scheduled for October will now be delayed until the end of the year.
Consolidated net sales increased 6% to $4.94bn in Q3 2013 compared with $4.67bn in Q2 2013 and increased 3% compared with $4.80bn in Q3 of 2012. Average sales price per short ton increased slightly from Q2 2013 and decreased 4% from Q3 2012.
Total tons shipped to outside customers were 6166k stons in Q3 2013, a 6% increase Q2 2013 and a 7% increase over Q3 2012. Total Q3 steel mill shipments increased 6% over Q3 2012 and increased 7% from Q2 2013. Q3 downstream steel products shipments to outside customers decreased 4% from Q3 2012 and increased 2% over Q2 2013.
In the first nine months of 2013, Nucor's consolidated net sales decreased 5% to $14.16bn compared with $14.98bn in last year's first nine months. Total tons shipped to outside customers increased 1% over the first nine months of 2012, while average sales price per ton decreased 6%.
The average scrap and scrap substitute cost per ton used in Q3 2013 was $372, a decrease of 1% from $377 in Q2 2013 and a decrease of 2% from $380 in Q3 2012. The average scrap and scrap substitute cost per ton used in the first nine months of 2013 was $376, a decrease of 10% from $418 in the first nine months of 2012.
Overall operating rates at its steel mills in Q3 2013 was 78%) up from Q2 2013 (73%) and from last year's Q3 (71%). Year-to-date steel mill utilization decreased from 75% in Q3 2012 to 74% in the Q3 2013.
Outages during Q4 at Nucor’s SBQ mill in Norfolk, Nebraska, also at the sheet mill in Berkeley County, South Carolina, and the structural mill in Blytheville, Arkansas are planned in preparation for previously announced capital expansion projects at those facilities. As a result, Nucor expect to see moderately lower earnings for Q4 2013.