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Nucor Corporation (NUE - Analyst Report) has announced its guidance for the third quarter of 2013. The company expects earnings to be in the range of 35 cents to 40 cents, an increase from 35 cents it reported in the year-ago quarter and 27 cents logged in the previous quarter. The projected earnings include LIFO credit of 3 cents per share.

Nucor stated that performance in its steel mills has shown improvement sequentially as a result of competitor supply disruptions, customer inventory restocking and some market demand improvement. Structural steel results also improved due to higher production at Yamato Steel following its 17 day planned outage during the second quarter and customer inventory restocking.

Nucor also expects its fabricated construction products businesses to report increased profitability compared with the second quarter. The company expects its raw materials business to report weak results in the third quarter due to higher start up costs at its new Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) plant in Louisiana which is in the final stages of hot commissioning.
While Nucor stated that non-residential construction markets remain weak in 2013, the company expects it to slowly improve from historically low levels. Manufactured goods including energy and automotive are showing strength.

Nucor, on Jul 18, posted mixed second-quarter 2013 results with earnings missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate while revenues beat the same. Profit fell year-over-year on lower performance in the steel mills business and slow recovery in residential construction. Lower selling prices and shipments led to a decline in the top line.  

Nucor is expected to release its third quarter results on Oct 14. The company currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Other companies in the steel industry with favorable Zacks Rank are Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (SID - Analyst Report), Shiloh Industries Inc. and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation . All of them hold a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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