Nucor Corporation, the USA’s largest minimill group and second largest steel producer in the country, announced consolidated net earnings of $85.1M, or $0.27 per diluted share, for Q2 2013. By comparison, net earnings were just 0.3% up on the $84.8M, or $0.26 per diluted share for Q1 2013 and down 24.2% on $112.3M, or $0.35 per diluted share, in Q2 2012.
In the first half of 2013, the Company reported consolidated net earnings of $169.9M, or $0.53 per diluted share, down 34% on consolidated net earnings of $257.4M, or $0.81 per diluted share, in the first half of 2012.
Consolidated net sales increased 3% to $4.67bn in Q2 2013 compared with $4.55bn in Q1 2013 and decreased 8% compared with $5.10bn in Q2 2012. Average sales price per 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 Q2 steel mill shipments decreased 3% compared with Q2 2012 and were down 1% from Q1 2013. Q2 downstream steel products shipments to outside customers decreased 4% from Q2 2012 but increased 19% over Q1 2013.
In H1 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%.
The 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 the first half of 2013 was $378, a decrease of 13% from $436 H1 2012.
Overall operating rates at Nucor’s steel mills in Q2 was 73%, a slight improvement on 72% in Q1 but a decreased from last year's Q2 of 76%. Steel mill utilization decreased from 77% in H1 2012 to 73% in H1 2013.
Construction is nearing completion of the 2.5M ston DRI facility in Louisiana and is on schedule to start-up late in the third quarter of 2013.
Looking forward, Nucor expect to see a modest improvement in earnings in Q3 2013 prices for sheet steel which dropped to its lowest level since November 2010 in June slowly recovering. The automotive and energy markets remain strong in the US, while the construction market remains challenged. Nucor also expect to see increased earnings from downstream businesses in Q3 continuing the upward trend seen in Q2.
Nucor’s David J Joseph scrap operations are expected to benefit from the bottoming of scrap pricing in Q2.