CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Nucor Corporation (NYSE: NUE) announced today guidance for its first quarter ending March 31, 2018. Nucor expects first quarter results to be in the range of $1.00 to $1.05 per diluted share. This range is a decrease compared to the fourth quarter of 2017 consolidated net earnings of $1.20 per diluted share and first quarter of 2017 earnings of $1.11 per diluted share. Excluding the non-operating items described below, expected first quarter of 2018 performance is better than the fourth quarter of 2017 and comparable to the first quarter of 2017.
Projected first quarter of 2018 results include an expense of $21.8 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, related to the write off of deferred tax assets due to the change in the tax status of a subsidiary. Included in the fourth quarter of 2017 results was a net benefit of $175.2 million, or $0.55 per diluted share, related to the impacts of U.S. federal tax legislation enacted in the fourth quarter of 2017. Included in the first quarter of 2017 results were inventory related purchase accounting charges of $9.8 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, associated with the acquisitions of Southland Tube and Republic Conduit.
We expect earnings in the steel mills segment to be improved compared to the fourth quarter of 2017. Average selling prices have increased each month for all steel mill product groups thus far in 2018, and we expect that positive pricing momentum to continue into the second quarter. We believe there is significant optimism in steel end use markets, and we are encouraged by recent actions made by the Trump administration to address the massive flood of dumped and illegally subsidized imports into the United States. We expect decreased earnings in the steel products segment in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the fourth quarter of 2017 due to typical seasonality. We expect earnings in our raw materials segment in the first quarter of 2018 to improve compared to the fourth quarter of 2017.
Nucor and its 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; hollow structural section tubing; electrical conduit; steel piling; steel joists and joist girders; steel deck; fabricated concrete reinforcing steel; cold finished steel; steel fasteners; metal building systems; steel grating; 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) competitive pressure on sales and pricing, including competition from imports and substitute materials; (2) U.S. and foreign trade policies affecting steel imports or exports; (3) 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; (4) market demand for steel products; and (5) energy costs and availability. These and other factors are discussed in Nucor's regulatory filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including those in Nucor's fiscal 2017 Annual Report on Form 10-K, Item 1A. Risk Factors. 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.
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SOURCE Nucor Corporation
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