CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Nucor Corporation (NYSE: NUE) announced today guidance for its third quarter ending October 1, 2011. Nucor expects third quarter results to be in the range of $0.45 to $0.55 per diluted share. This represents a decrease of approximately 40% - 50% from second quarter of 2011 earnings of $0.94 per diluted share, but an increase of 540% - 690% over third quarter of 2010 earnings of $0.07 per diluted share. Projected third quarter results include an estimated LIFO charge of $29 million ($0.06 per diluted share) compared to charges of $32 million in the second quarter of 2011 ($0.06 per diluted share) and $50 million in the third quarter of 2010 ($0.10 per diluted share).
As we expected, our profitability has deteriorated in the third quarter compared to the second quarter of 2011 but continues well ahead of 2010 levels. The recent deterioration reflects lower steel prices and metal margins, particularly for sheet mill products, due to new domestic supply, increased imports and continued high raw material costs. While we have seen some pricing increases in sheet mill products just recently, the fundamentals here are still difficult at best. On the positive side, scrap prices have remained relatively stable during the third quarter. End markets such as automotive, heavy equipment, energy and general manufacturing have continued to experience some real demand improvement, benefiting special bar quality, sheet and plate products. We do expect continued stability in order rates as raw material prices have been less volatile than in 2010, and our customers continue to operate with minimal inventories. As is our practice, we will provide qualitative guidance for fourth quarter 2011 earnings in our third quarter 2011 earnings release.
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 joists and joist girders; steel deck; fabricated concrete reinforcing steel; cold finished steel; steel fasteners; metal building systems; light gauge steel framing; 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, 2010 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