Nucor Corporation's (NUE - Free Report) board of directors cleared the construction of a galvanizing line at the company's sheet mill in Arkansas. The move will enable Nucor to expand into a wider and more diverse set of strategic end-market applications. The company is investing $240 million in the new galvanizing line that will have an annual capacity of around 500,000 tons and is expected to come online in the first half of 2021.
This project is in sync with the company’s previous investment of $230 million which is currently underway to construct a specialty cold mill complex at Nucor Steel Arkansas. Both these projects will support the company to efficiently produce products beyond the capability of any North American mill. Further, it will help the company meet demand for advanced high-strength steel products.
The company also plans to build additional galvanizing lines at other sheet mills as part of its initiative to further expand the sheet business.
Shares of Nucor have moved up 14.9% in the last six months, underperforming the industry’s 25.1% gain.
Nucor logged net earnings of $354.2 million or $1.10 per share in the first quarter of 2018 compared with $356.9 million or $1.11 per share registered a year ago. Adjusted earnings per share for the quarter came in at $1.17, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.10.
Nucor reported revenues of $5,568.4 million, up roughly 15.6% year over year from $4,815.2 million. The figure surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $5,541.6 million.
Nucor expects its earnings in the second quarter of 2018 to increase considerably from the first. Notably, the steel mill metal profitability and margins in March were the strongest in the first quarter. The company expects steel mills segment’s performance to improve sequentially in the second quarter as it continues to see the benefits of price increases.
Nucor believes that there is sustainable strength in steel end-use markets and is also encouraged by recent actions taken by the U.S. government to address the issue of illegally subsidized imports into the country.
The company expects performance for its steel products unit to sequentially improve in the second quarter, as increasing steel input costs are being passed on to customers.
Nucor Corporation Price and Consensus
Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider
Nucor currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Some other top-ranked stocks worth considering in the basic materials space are FMC Corporation (FMC - Free Report) , Huntsman Corporation (HUN - Free Report) and Celanese Corporation (CE - Free Report) . All three stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
FMC Corp has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 13.6%. Its shares have gained around 18.8% over a year.
Huntsman has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 8.3%. Its shares have moved up around 20.1% over a year.
Celanese has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 8.9%. Its shares have gained around 24.7% over a year.
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