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US steelmaker Nucor flags Q4'19 EPS drop on low prices, planned outage

Charlotte, N.C.-based steelmaker Nucor Corp. flagged a sharp drop in fourth-quarter EPS due to low prices, year-end seasonality and a planned outage that impacted the performance of its three segments.

The company said Dec. 12 that it expects its fourth-quarter EPS to be between 25 U.S. cents and 30 cents, down from US$2.07 in the year-ago period and 90 cents in the third quarter.

Low steel prices are expected to drag down the fourth-quarter performance of Nucor's steel mills unit compared to the third quarter.

However, the company said domestic scrap metal prices increased while its sheet, plate, structural and bar mills hiked prices, reflecting the demand for Nucor's steel mill products.

Nucor expects to record fourth-quarter earnings for its steel products segment, although they may slightly fall on a quarterly basis due to normal year-end seasonality.

Fourth-quarter losses of the raw materials business are forecast to widen quarter over quarter due to the impact of a planned outage at the company's direct-reduced iron plant in Louisiana that was completed in mid-November as well as expected further margin compression.