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Nucor Corporation announced consolidated net earnings of $159.6 million, or $0.50 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2016 and $796.2 million, or $2.48 per diluted share, for fiscal 2016.

In the fourth quarter of 2016, the company changed its method of accounting for certain inventories from the last-in, first-out (LIFO) method to the first-in, first-out (FIFO) method which required retrospective application to prior period financial statements.

Comparative consolidated net earnings after the retrospective application of the change in accounting principle were $305.4 million, or $0.95 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2016 and a net loss of $187.5 million or $0.59 per diluted share for the fourth quarter of 2015. Comparative consolidated net earnings after the retrospective application of the change in accounting principle were $80.7 million, or $0.25 per diluted share, for fiscal 2015.

Nucor’s consolidated net sales decreased 8 percent to $3.96 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared with $4.29 billion in the third quarter of 2016 and increased 14 percent compared with $3.46 billion in the fourth quarter of 2015. Average sales price per ton decreased 7 percent from the third quarter of 2016 and was consistent with the fourth quarter of 2015. Total tons shipped to outside customers were 5,815,000 tons in the fourth quarter of 2016, a 1 percent decrease from the third quarter of 2016 and an increase of 14 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015. Total fourth quarter steel mill shipments decreased 1 percent from the third quarter of 2016 and increased 16 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015. Fourth quarter downstream steel products shipments to outside customers decreased 11 percent from the third quarter of 2016.

For fiscal 2016, Nucor’s consolidated net sales decreased 1 percent to $16.21 billion, compared with $16.44 billion for fiscal 2015. Total tons shipped to outside customers in fiscal 2016 were 24,309,000, an increase of 7 percent from fiscal 2015, while average sales price per ton decreased 8 percent.

The average scrap and scrap substitute cost per ton used in the fourth quarter of 2016 was $236, a decrease of 6 percent from $252 in the third quarter of 2016 and an 8 percent increase from $219 in the fourth quarter of 2015. The average scrap and scrap substitute cost per ton used for the full year 2016 was $228, a 16 percent decrease from $270 for the full year 2015.

Overall operating rates at steel mills decreased to 74 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 as compared to 76 percent in the third quarter of 2016 and increased compared to 68 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015. Steel mill operating rates for the full year 2016 increased to 80 percent as compared to 73 percent for the full year 2015. The utilization rates for the current and prior periods were revised during the fourth quarter of 2016 as a result of an updated analysis of our steel mill capacity.

Published in the March 2017 Edition of American Recycler News