Another earnings warning is out this morning, this time from one of the largest U.S. steel makers. Nucor Corp. (NYSE: NUE) this morning lowered its fourth-quarter diluted earnings per share (EPS) estimate to a range of $0.25 to $0.30. In the third quarter, the steel maker reported EPS of $0.35 and in the fourth quarter of 2011 EPS totaled $0.43.
The company expects a lower inventory credit, compared with the third quarter, which will cut EPS by an estimated $0.06. The other issue is margins:
Lower steel mill margins are primarily impacting our bar and plate steel mills reflecting the cumulative impact of high import levels and general economic uncertainty. Sheet mill margins are improved in the fourth quarter after bottoming in the third quarter of 2012.
The consensus estimate for Nucor’s fourth-quarter EPS is $0.34 on revenues of $4.55 billion. The company did not say this morning whether revenues would be in line with estimates.
Shortly after trading opened this morning, Nucor’s shares were trading up about 0.6% at $43.02, in a 52-week range of $34.23 to $45.75. The consensus price target for the shares is $46.05.