Charlotte, North Carolina-based electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmaker Nucor Corp. has announced what it calls record quarterly consolidated net earnings of $2.13 billion for the third quarter of this year. That figure surpasses the prior quarter’s net earnings of $1.51 billion and is 680 percent higher than the $193.4 million earned in the third quarter of 2020.
In the first nine months of 2021, Nucor’s consolidated net earnings have totaled $4.58 billion, or $15.34 per share, which is more than 1,300 percent higher than net earnings of $322.6 million, ($1.06 per diluted share) earned in the first nine months of 2020.
“During the third quarter, we once again achieved record results,” states Leon Topalian, Nucor's president and CEO. “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. 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.”
In the third quarter, the company says its average scrap and scrap substitute cost per gross ton was $511, a 12 percent increase compared with $457 in the second quarter of 2021 and an 84 percent increase compared with $277 in the third quarter of 2020. Year-to-date, the average scrap and scrap substitute cost per gross ton has been $457, a 60 percent increase compared with $285 in the first nine months of 2020.
On the steelmaking side year to date, Nucor’s consolidated net sales of $26.12 billion were an increase of 76 percent compared with consolidated net sales of $14.88 billion reported in the first nine months of 2020. The company’s more than 21.8 million total tons shipped to outside customers in the first nine months of 2021 marks a 15 percent increase from the first three quarters of 2020, while the average sales price per ton in the first nine months of 2021 increased 53 percent from the first nine months of 2020.
Looking ahead, Nucor states, “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.”
On its raw materials side, the company does not mention its scrap operations, but says of the overall 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 (DRI) facilities.”