CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Steelmaker Nucor Corp. expects that its fourth-quarter net income will be far below what analysts were expecting, as low steel prices cut the company's profit margins.
The company said Thursday that it expects to earn between 22 cents and 27 cents per share during the quarter that ends Dec. 31. That's far below the 40 cents per share that analysts expected, according to a survey by FactSet.
The company said it will book an accounting loss on its inventory of $73 million, or 16 cents per share. That's far higher than a similar charge of $28 million it took during the previous quarter and a charge of $23 million it took in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Nucor said its profits also will be cut because global steel prices have been depressed. Steel imports have risen, increasing the supply of cheaper steel and reducing what the company can charge for its products.
Nucor lost 4 cents per share during last year's fourth quarter, but it reported net income of 57 cents per share during this year's third quarter.
Separately, the Charlotte, N.C., company said it raised its quarterly dividend to 36.5 cents from 36.25 cents. The dividend is payable Feb. 10 to shareholders of record Dec. 30.
Shares of Nucor dropped 22 cents to $38.50 in afternoon trading.