Steelmaker Nucor posts best second quarter ever; US$ 270 million Mexican plant still in the works

Nucor Corporation announced second quarter of 2018 consolidated net earnings of US$ 683.2 million, or US$ 2.13 per diluted share, the highest second quarter earnings in the company’s history and above all Wall Street estimates.

“We are pleased to report record second quarter earnings that reflect our success over the last several years positioning Nucor to take advantage of an upturn in the steel market. We have increased our workforce by 18% and invested US$ 8 billion since the last cyclical peak in 2008,” said John Ferriola, Nucor’s Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President. 

By comparison, Nucor reported consolidated net earnings of US$ 354.2 million, or US$ 1.10 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2018 and US$ 323.0 million, or US$ 1.00 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2017. 

Ferriola said that tariffs on steel and aluminum imports imposed by the Trump administration helped Nucor log its second-best earnings report ever, but those weren’t the defining factor of the company’s latest quarter.

“Certainly, we get a tailwind from the tariffs. But the tariffs really only have gone into effect, full effect, in June. So, we’re just beginning to see the impact of that,” the official said in an interview with CNBC’s “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer.

In the first half of 2018, Nucor reported consolidated net earnings of US$ 1.04 billion, or US$ 3.23 per diluted share, compared with consolidated net earnings of US$ 679.9 million, or US$ 2.11 per diluted share, in the first half of last year.

During the second quarter conference call, Ferriola said the company is “currently implementing eight exciting growth initiatives, totaling more than US$ 1.5 billion”. 

Among those projects is a joint venture with Japanese JFE Steel to build in Guanajuato a US$ 270 million sheet galvanizing plant to support its expansion into Mexico’s automotive industry.


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