Nucor Corporation ( NUE Quick Quote NUE - Free Report) logged net earnings of $2,127.7 million or $7.28 per share in third-quarter 2021, up from $193.4 million or 63 cents in the year-ago quarter. Notably, the third quarter marked the highest quarterly earnings in the steel giant’s history. Earnings per share, however, missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $7.46. The company recorded net sales of $10,313.2 million, up around 109% year over year. The figure surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $10,097.9 million.
Total steel mills shipments in the third quarter were 6,543,000 tons, up 16% year over year. Total tons shipped to outside customers were up 13% year over year to 7,172,000 tons. Average sales price jumped 86% year over year.
Steel mill operating rates were 96% in the third quarter, up from 83% in the year-ago quarter. Segment Highlights
Earnings of the company’s steel mills unit rose significantly in the reported quarter on a sequential comparison basis, driven by higher realized selling prices.
The steel products unit also had another strong quarter with earnings rising significantly on a sequential comparison basis on margin expansion led by higher average selling prices. Earnings in the raw materials unit were flat sequentially in the third quarter, barring the impairment charge recorded in the previous quarter. Financial Position
At the end of the quarter, cash and cash equivalents fell roughly 38% year over year to $1,764.3 million. Long-term debt was $4,949.9 million, down around 9% year over year.
The company repurchased roughly 8.2 million shares of its common stock during the quarter. Outlook
Moving ahead, Nucor sees continued strong results in the fourth quarter with earnings potentially exceeding the record-level set in the third quarter. The company expects strong demand across most end-use markets to continue into 2022.
Nucor expects improved profitability in the steel mills segment in the fourth quarter on a sequential comparison basis on additional earnings growth at its sheet and plate mills. The company also sees higher profitability in the steel products segment in the fourth quarter. However, earnings in the raw materials segment are forecast to decline sequentially in the fourth quarter due to margin compression at its direct reduced iron facilities. Price Performance
Shares of Nucor have rallied 117.6% over a year compared with the
industry’s 84.1% rise.
Image Source: Zacks Investment Research Zacks Rank & Key Picks
Nucor currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Other top-ranked stocks worth considering in the basic materials space include Steel Dynamics, Inc. ( STLD Quick Quote STLD - Free Report) , Nutrien Ltd. ( NTR Quick Quote NTR - Free Report) and Methanex Corporation ( MEOH Quick Quote MEOH - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1. You can see . the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here Steel Dynamics has a projected earnings growth rate of 454.9% for the current year. The company’s shares have surged around 102% in a year. Nutrien has an expected earnings growth rate of 181.7% for the current year. The stock has also rallied around 72% over a year. Methanex has a projected earnings growth rate of 425.3% for the current year. The company’s shares have shot up around 65% in a year.