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Planned facility outages to drag down Steel Dynamics' Q4'18 earnings

U.S. steel producer Steel Dynamics Inc. expects its fourth-quarter profit to range from US$1.11 to US$1.15 per share, dropping from US$1.28 per share recorded in the year-ago period, as a result of planned maintenance outages at its liquid pig iron production facility and two flat roll steel mills.

The company expects to record lower earnings of US$14 million from the scheduled shutdown of its liquid pig iron production plant.

The outages at its mills, which incurred higher-than-normal maintenance and associated costs of approximately US$20 million, also reduced fourth-quarter shipments from these sites by an estimated 70,000 to 80,000 tons and pulled down earnings from the company's flat roll operations.

Earnings from the company's steel operations are projected to be strong, but weaker on a quarterly basis. However, it expects earnings from its metals recycling platform and steel fabrication business to improve quarter on quarter.

Steel Dynamics said Dec. 18 that it still anticipates record annual earnings in 2018 compared to the prior year.