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Nucor Reports Record Quarterly Earnings for the Third Quarter of 2021

Nucor Corporation (NYSE: NUE) today announced record quarterly consolidated net earnings of $2.13 billion, or $7.28 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2021. By comparison, Nucor reported consolidated net earnings of $1.51 billion, or $5.04 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2021 and $193.4 million, or $0.63 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2020.

In the first nine months of 2021, Nucor reported consolidated net earnings of $4.58 billion, or $15.34 per diluted share, compared with consolidated net earnings of $322.6 million, or $1.06 per diluted share, in the first nine months of 2020.

“During the third quarter, we once again achieved record results, with earnings per share of $7.28. Our third quarter performance surpassed our previous record of $5.04 set in the second quarter of this year and almost matched our full year earnings record of $7.42 that we set back in 2018,” said Leon Topalian, Nucor’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Congratulations to the entire Nucor team for delivering the phenomenal results we have seen so far this year while staying focused on our Safety goals. I am incredibly proud of our team and what we have accomplished.”

Selected Segment Data
Earnings (loss) before income taxes and noncontrolling interests by segment for the third quarter and first nine months of 2021 and 2020 were as follows (in thousands):

The steel mills segment and the steel products segment both set a record for the highest quarterly earnings before income taxes and noncontrolling interests in the third quarter of 2021.

Financial Review
Nucor’s consolidated net sales increased 17% to $10.31 billion in the third quarter of 2021 compared with $8.79 billion in the second quarter of 2021 and increased 109% compared with $4.93 billion in the third quarter of 2020. Average sales price per ton in the third quarter of 2021 increased 22% compared with the second quarter of 2021 and increased 86% compared with the third quarter of 2020. A total of 7,172,000 tons were shipped to outside customers in the third quarter of 2021, a 4% decrease from the second quarter of 2021 and a 13% increase from the third quarter of 2020. Total steel mill shipments in the third quarter of 2021 decreased 3% as compared to the second quarter of 2021 and increased 16% as compared to the third quarter of 2020. Steel mill shipments to internal customers represented 21% of total steel mill shipments in the third quarter of 2021, compared with 20% in the second quarter of 2021 and 21% in the third quarter of 2020. Downstream steel product shipments to outside customers in the third quarter of 2021 was consistent with the second quarter of 2021 and increased 3% from the third quarter of 2020.

In the first nine months of 2021, Nucor’s consolidated net sales of $26.12 billion were an increase of 76% compared with consolidated net sales of $14.88 billion reported in the first nine months of 2020. Total tons shipped to outside customers in the first nine months of 2021 were 21,830,000, an increase of 15% from the first nine months of 2020, while the average sales price per ton in the first nine months of 2021 increased 53% from the first nine months of 2020.

The average scrap and scrap substitute cost per gross ton used in the third quarter of 2021 was $511, a 12% increase compared to $457 in the second quarter of 2021 and an 84% increase compared to $277 in the third quarter of 2020. The average scrap and scrap substitute cost per gross ton used in the first nine months of 2021 was $457, a 60% increase compared to $285 in the first nine months of 2020.

Included in the second quarter of 2021 earnings is a $42.0 million, or $0.11 per diluted share, non-cash impairment charge related to our leasehold interest in unproved oil and natural gas properties. This charge is included in the raw materials segment. Included in earnings for the third quarter of 2020 is a restructuring charge of $16.4 million, or $0.04 per diluted share, related to the realignment of Nucor’s metal buildings business. This charge is included in the steel products segment.

Pre-operating and start-up costs related to the Company’s growth projects were approximately $36 million, or $0.09 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2021, compared with approximately $22 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2021 and approximately $22 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2020.

In the first nine months of 2021, pre-operating and start-up costs related to the Company’s growth projects were approximately $76 million, or $0.19 per diluted share, compared with approximately $73 million, or $0.18 per diluted share, in the first nine months of 2020.

Overall operating rates at the Company’s steel mills decreased to 96% in the third quarter of 2021 as compared to 97% in the second quarter of 2021 and increased from 83% in the third quarter of 2020. Operating rates in the first nine months of 2021 increased to 96% as compared to 80% in the first nine months of 2020.

Financial Strength
At the end of the third quarter of 2021, we had $2.29 billion in cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments and restricted cash and cash equivalents on hand. Our significant cash flow generation has allowed us to maintain our strong liquidity position all while funding two strategic acquisitions and continuing to execute our share repurchase program during the third quarter.

The Company’s $1.50 billion revolving credit facility remains undrawn and does not expire until April 2023. Nucor continues to have the strongest credit rating in the North American steel sector (Baa1/A-) with stable outlooks at both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.

Commitment to Returning Capital to Stockholders
During the third quarter of 2021, Nucor repurchased approximately 8.2 million shares of its common stock at an average price of $104.60 per share (20.3 million shares year-to-date at an average price of $87.19 per share). As of October 2, 2021, Nucor had approximately 285,799,000 shares outstanding and approximately $1.9 billion remaining for repurchases under its newly authorized share repurchase program.

On September 17, 2021, Nucor’s board of directors declared a cash dividend of $0.405 per share. This cash dividend is payable on November 10, 2021 to stockholders of record as of September 30, 2021 and is Nucor’s 194th consecutive quarterly cash dividend.

Third Quarter of 2021 Analysis
All three operating segments continued to generate robust profitability in the third quarter of 2021. Earnings of the steel mills segment increased significantly in the third quarter of 2021 as compared to the second quarter of 2021, mainly driven by higher realized selling prices. The steel products segment generated significantly increased earnings in the third quarter of 2021 due to margin expansion caused by higher average selling prices. The raw materials segment’s earnings in the third quarter of 2021 were comparable to the second quarter of 2021, excluding the impairment charge recorded in the second quarter of 2021.

Fourth Quarter of 2021 Outlook
We expect continued strong results for the fourth quarter of 2021, potentially exceeding the net earnings record set in the third quarter of 2021. Demand remains robust across most end-use markets, a trend we expect will continue well into 2022. Backlogs in our steel mills and steel products segments remain elevated compared to historical levels.

We expect the profitability of the steel mills segment to improve in the fourth quarter of 2021 as compared to the third quarter of 2021, driven by additional earnings growth at our sheet and plate mills. We expect the profitability of the steel products segment to increase in the fourth quarter of 2021 compared to the third quarter of 2021. The raw materials segment’s earnings in the fourth quarter of 2021 are expected to decrease compared to the third quarter of 2021 due primarily to margin compression at our direct reduced iron facilities.

Earnings Conference Call
You are invited to listen to the live broadcast of Nucor’s conference call during which management will discuss Nucor’s third quarter results on October 21, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The conference call will be available over the Internet at www.nucor.com, under Investors.

About Nucor
Nucor and its affiliates are manufacturers of steel and steel products, with operating facilities in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Products produced include: carbon and alloy steel — in bars, beams, sheet and plate; hollow structural section tubing; electrical conduit; steel racking; steel piling; steel joists and joist girders; steel deck; fabricated concrete reinforcing steel; cold finished steel; precision castings; steel fasteners; metal building systems; insulated metal panels; steel grating; and wire and wire mesh. Nucor, through The David J. Joseph Company, also brokers ferrous and nonferrous metals, pig iron and hot briquetted iron / direct reduced iron; supplies ferro-alloys; and processes ferrous and nonferrous scrap. Nucor is North America’s largest recycler.
Source: Nucor Corporation

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