Nucor Slumps as Earnings Dented by Steelmaking Bottlenecks
(Bloomberg) -- Shares of Nucor Corp., the largest U.S. steelmaker, fell after posting weaker-than-anticipated quarterly earnings and telling investors that supply-chain bottlenecks are causing shipment delays.
After a historic rally in steel prices that boosted Nucor’s stock about 92% this year, Chief Executive Officer Leon Topalian said supply chain constraints are limiting the company’s ability to deliver the high-demand metal to its customers.
“As we look at labor, as we look at moving trucks and materials, barges getting ships in and out, those costs are certainly having an impact,” Topalian said Thursday in an earnings call with analysts. “However, the moderating influence this is having on current demand may prolong the duration of this favorable economic cycle.”
Nucor posted profit of $7.28 a share for the third quarter, below the company’s per-share guidance of $7.30 to $7.40 given a month ago. The Charlotte-based producer said steel deliveries fell 4% from the second quarter, according to a statement.
The stock had its biggest drop in a month before paring some losses. Shares ended 2.9% lower at $102.07 as of 4:15 p.m. in New York.
The company said demand remains robust across most of its end markets, but sees slowness in the automotive market and some softening in construction. Some construction job sites across the U.S. are slowing due to the inability to get overseas parts and chemicals, Topalian said. Those goods are being held up due to a lack of containers crossing the ocean and a shortage of trucks, he said.
Nucor’s earnings miss comes a day after Kaiser Aluminum Corp., which makes parts for the automotive and aerospace industries, fell short of profit estimates partly due to the ongoing shortage of semiconductors. Kaiser said the shortage has significantly impacted North American vehicle production, delaying the recovery of its auto business.
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