UPDATE 1-Nucor earnings beat Street as sheet steel prices rise
Oct 17 (Reuters) - Steelmaker Nucor Corp reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday and said better prices for sheet steel had boosted results at its mills.
Nucor said in September that some improvement in demand, as well as supply disruptions experienced by its competitors, could help results. Third-quarter earnings came in ahead of both the company's forecast and analysts' expectations.
The company said it expects "moderately lower" earnings in the fourth quarter. While metal margins should be stable, shipments usually fall late in the year, and Nucor has scheduled outages, related to upcoming expansions, at several mills.
The company took a charge of $14 million in the third quarter linked to the collapse of a storage dome at its new direct reduced iron plant in Louisiana.
Nucor previously said the collapse had not injured anyone or damaged the environment, but would delay start-up of the plant until the end of the year. The plant had been just weeks away from starting production.
Direct reduced iron is a raw material used in steelmaking. Natural gas is used to create the substance from iron ore, and the natural gas boom has made the process more popular.
Nucor's third-quarter earnings rose to $147.6 million, or 46 cents a share, from $110.3 million, or 35 cents a share, a year earlier. Net sales climbed 3 percent to $4.94 billion.
Analysts, on average, had been expecting earnings of 39 cents a share on revenue of $4.80 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Nucor had forecast earnings of 35 to 40 cents a share.
Nucor shares rose nearly 2 percent to $50.77 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.