CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Nucor Corporation (NYSE: NUE) announced today guidance for its fourth quarter ending December 31, 2012. Nucor expects fourth quarter results to be in the range of $0.25 to $0.30 per diluted share. This represents a decrease from the third quarter of 2012 earnings of $0.35 per diluted share and from the fourth quarter of 2011 earnings of $0.43 per diluted share. Projected fourth quarter results include an estimated LIFO credit of $29 million ($0.06 per diluted share) compared to a credit of $84 million in the third quarter of 2012 ($0.16 per diluted share) and a charge of $52 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 ($0.11 per diluted share).
Third quarter of 2012 results include non-cash inventory related purchase accounting charges of approximately $28.2 million ($0.06 per diluted share) associated with our acquisition of Skyline Steel LLC, and a loss on the sale of the assets of Nucor Wire Products Pennsylvania, Inc. of $17.6 million ($0.04 per diluted share). Fourth quarter of 2011 results were impacted by a non-cash gain of $29.0 million ($0.06 per diluted share) for the correction of an actuarial calculation related to the medical plan covering certain eligible early retirees.
As we expected, our profitability has decreased in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter of 2012. This decrease is mainly due to a smaller LIFO credit in the fourth quarter and lower margins in the steel business. 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.
Nucor and affiliates are manufacturers of steel products, with operating facilities primarily in the U.S. and Canada. Products produced include: carbon and alloy steel -- in bars, beams, sheet and plate; steel piling; steel joists and joist girders; steel deck; fabricated concrete reinforcing steel; cold finished steel; steel fasteners; metal building systems; steel grating and expanded metal; and wire and wire mesh. Nucor, through The David J. Joseph Company, also brokers ferrous and nonferrous metals, pig iron and HBI/DRI; supplies ferro-alloys; and processes ferrous and nonferrous scrap. Nucor is North America's largest recycler.
Certain statements contained in this news release are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. The words "believe," "expect," "project," "will," "should," "could" and similar expressions are intended to identify those forward-looking statements. Factors that might cause the Company's actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: (1) the sensitivity of the results of our operations to prevailing steel prices and the changes in the supply and cost of raw materials, including scrap steel; (2) market demand for steel products; (3) energy costs and availability; and (4) competitive pressure on sales and pricing, including competition from imports and substitute materials. These and other factors are outlined in Nucor's regulatory filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including those in Nucor's December 31, 2011 Annual Report on Form 10-K. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release speak only as of this date, and Nucor does not assume any obligation to update them.
SOURCE Nucor Corporation