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Nucor Corporation (NUE - Analyst Report) announced its guidance for the first quarter of 2014 (ending Apr 5, 2014). The North Carolina-based steel maker envisions earnings for the quarter to be in the band of 30 cents to 35 cents per share, above 26 cents registered a year ago and below 53 cents in the previous quarter. Analysts polled by Zacks are currently expecting earnings of 52 cents a share on average for the quarter.

Nucor expects its first quarter results to include inventory-related expenses of $14.5 million (or 3 cents per share). This compares with an inventory charge of $17.4 million and $18 million in fourth-quarter 2013 and first-quarter 2013, respectively. The first quarter earnings also include an expected charge of $9 million or 2 cents per share associated with assets disposal.

Nucor stated that its first quarter results have been affected by severe weather conditions, leading to lesser demand and decrease in the availability of railcar  weaker seasonal performance of the company’s fabricated construction products businesses. Moreover, imports have adversely affected the company’s pricing and margins at its bar and sheet mills. Further, Nucor expects modest improvements in the nonresidential construction markets.

Nucor released its fourth quarter 2013 results in Jan 2014. The company’s adjusted (excluding special items) earnings of 46 cents per share for the quarter surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 40 cents. The adjusted earnings exclude charges of $21.3 million or 7 cents a share related to the correction to deferred tax balances.

Profit (as reported) for the quarter came in at $170.5 million (or 53 cents a share), up 24.5% from $136.9 million or 43 cents per share a year ago.
Revenues increased 10% year over year in the fourth quarter to roughly $4,895 million, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4,667 million. Average sales price remained flat compared with the year-ago quarter.

Total tons shipped to outside customers rose 10% year over year to 6,019,000 tons in the reported quarter and total mill shipments increased 9% to 5,191,000 tons.

Nucor currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Other companies in the steel and related industries with favorable Zacks Rank are AK Steel holding Corporation (AKS - Analyst Report), Worthington Industries, Inc. (WOR - Snapshot Report) and Timken Co. (TKR - Snapshot Report). While AK Steel retains a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), both Worthington Industries and Timken carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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