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Why Is Nucor (NUE) Down 1.4% Since Last Earnings Report?

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A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Nucor (NUE - Free Report) . Shares have lost about 1.4% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Nucor due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at the most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.

Nucor's Earnings Lag, Revenues Beat Estimates in Q1

Nucor reported earnings of $3.46 per share in first-quarter 2024, down from earnings of $4.45 in the year-ago quarter. The bottom line missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.62.

The company recorded net sales of roughly $8.14 billion, down around 7% year over year. The figure beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $8.03 billion.

Operating Figures

Total sales tons to outside customers for steel mills in the first quarter were 4,676,000 tons, down 3% year over year. The figure beat our estimate of 4,639,000 tons.

The average sales price for steel mills was $1,108 per ton for the quarter. The metric was below our estimate of $1,155 per ton.

Overall operating rates at the company’s steel mills rose to 82% in the first quarter of 2024 from 79% in the year-ago quarter.

Segment Highlights

Earnings of the company’s steel mills unit increased sequentially in the reported quarter on higher average selling prices and increased volumes, especially at its sheet mills

Earnings in the steel products division were lower sequentially in the first quarter due to reduced prices and a decline in volumes.

The raw materials segment’s earnings rose sequentially in the reported quarter.

Financial Position

Cash and cash equivalents were roughly $4.56 billion at the end of the quarter, up around 20% year over year. Long-term debt was around $6.65 billion, essentially flat year over year.

The company repurchased around 5.5 million shares of its common stock at an average price of $180.79 per share during the quarter.


Nucor anticipates a decline in earnings in the second quarter of 2024 compared with the prior quarter. The expected downside can be attributed to lower earnings in the steel mills segment, mainly due to reduced average selling prices partly offset by slightly higher volumes.

Earnings in the steel products segment are forecast to decline moderately in the second quarter due to reduced average selling prices, partly masked by higher volumes. However, Nucor expects a sequential rise in earnings in the raw materials segment for the first quarter of 2024 due to higher profitability of its direct reduced iron facilities and scrap processing operations.


How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, estimates review have trended downward during the past month.

The consensus estimate has shifted -14.54% due to these changes.

VGM Scores

At this time, Nucor has a subpar Growth Score of D, a grade with the same score on the momentum front. However, the stock was allocated a grade of B on the value side, putting it in the second quintile for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of C. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.


Estimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions indicates a downward shift. Notably, Nucor has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.

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