Nucor Reports Results for the Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2023

  • Fourth quarter and full year 2023 diluted EPS of $3.16 and $18.00, respectively.
  • Fourth quarter and full year 2023 net earnings before noncontrolling interests of $872.8 million and $4.91 billion, respectively; EBITDA of $1.36 billion and $7.41 billion, respectively.
  • 2024 expected to be another strong year as Nucor executes its strategy to grow the core and expand its portfolio of solutions.
  • Capital deployment expected to increase in 2024 with planned capital expenditures of $3.5 billion, continued evaluation of acquisitions, and share repurchases set to outpace the prior year.

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 29, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Nucor Corporation (NYSE: NUE) today announced consolidated net earnings of $785.4 million, or $3.16 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2023. By comparison, Nucor reported consolidated net earnings of $1.14 billion, or $4.57 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2023 and $1.26 billion, or $4.89 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2022.

For the full year 2023, Nucor reported consolidated net earnings of $4.52 billion, or $18.00 per diluted share, compared with consolidated net earnings of $7.61 billion, or $28.79 per diluted share, in 2022.

"The Nucor team delivered a strong finish to 2023, which represents the third-most profitable year in our Company's history. Nucor's strategy to grow our core steelmaking capabilities and expand beyond into steel-adjacent business lines continues to deliver strong results," said Leon Topalian, Nucor's Chair, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Over the past four years, Nucor has generated an average annual ROE of 33% and has returned approximately $9.7 billion to its shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.  We remain optimistic that Nucor's best days are ahead of us, with a resilient U.S. economy and steel-intensive megatrends driving increased demand for our products.  With our strong balance sheet and broad array of sustainable steel solutions, we believe Nucor is unparalleled with respect to its ability to leverage these market drivers for continued growth."

Selected Segment Data
Earnings (loss) before income taxes and noncontrolling interests by segment for the fourth quarter and full year 2023 and 2022 were as follows (in thousands):



Three Months (13 Weeks) Ended



Twelve Months (52 Weeks) Ended




December 31,
2023



December 31,
2022



December 31,
2023



December 31,
2022


Steel mills


$

587,921



$

516,655



$

3,712,470



$

7,199,087


Steel products



655,628




1,081,461




3,443,950




4,093,105


Raw materials



(14,412)




(141,817)




253,506




496,823


Corporate/eliminations



(151,028)




77,106




(1,137,169)




(1,544,171)




$

1,078,109



$

1,533,405



$

6,272,757



$

10,244,844


Financial Review
Nucor's consolidated net sales decreased 12% to $7.70 billion in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared with $8.78 billion in the third quarter of 2023 and decreased 12% compared with $8.72 billion in the fourth quarter of 2022. Average sales price per ton in the fourth quarter of 2023 decreased 8% compared with the third quarter of 2023 and decreased 15% compared with the fourth quarter of 2022. Approximately 5,934,000 tons were shipped to outside customers in the fourth quarter of 2023, a 5% decrease from the third quarter of 2023 and a 3% increase from the fourth quarter of 2022. Total steel mill shipments in the fourth quarter of 2023 decreased 4% compared to the third quarter of 2023 and increased 8% compared to the fourth quarter of 2022. Steel mill shipments to internal customers represented 20% of total steel mill shipments in the fourth quarter of 2023, which was unchanged from the third quarter of 2023 and the fourth quarter of 2022. Downstream steel product shipments to outside customers in the fourth quarter of 2023 decreased 11% from the third quarter of 2023 and decreased 14% from the fourth quarter of 2022.

For the full year 2023, Nucor's consolidated net sales of $34.71 billion decreased 16% compared with consolidated net sales of $41.51 billion reported for the full year 2022. Total tons shipped to outside customers in 2023 were approximately 25,205,000 tons, a decrease of 1% from 2022, while the average sales price per ton in 2023 decreased 15% from 2022.

The average scrap and scrap substitute cost per gross ton used in the fourth quarter of 2023 was $397, a 4% decrease compared to $415 in the third quarter of 2023 and a 7% decrease compared to $427 in the fourth quarter of 2022. The average scrap and scrap substitute cost per gross ton used in the full year 2023 was $421, a 14% decrease compared to $492 in the full year 2022.

Pre-tax, pre-operating and start-up costs related to the Company's growth projects were approximately $127 million, or $0.39 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2023, compared with approximately $101 million, or $0.31 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2023 and approximately $73 million, or $0.22 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2022.

In the full year 2023, pre-tax, pre-operating and start-up costs related to the Company's growth projects were approximately $400 million, or $1.21 per diluted share, compared with approximately $247 million, or $0.71 per diluted share, in the full year 2022.

Overall operating rates at the Company's steel mills were 74% in the fourth quarter of 2023 as compared to 77% in the third quarter of 2023 and 70% in the fourth quarter of 2022. Operating rates for the full year 2023 increased to 78% as compared to 77% for the full year 2022.

Included in the results for the fourth quarter of 2022 was an after-tax net benefit of $60.4 million, or $0.24 per diluted share, related to state tax credits and an after-tax net benefit of $88.0 million, or $0.34 per diluted share, related to a change in the valuation allowance of a state deferred tax asset. Also included in the fourth quarter of 2022 results was a pre-tax $96.0 million, or $0.29 per diluted share, write-off of the remaining carrying value of the Company's leasehold interest in unproved oil and gas properties that is included in the raw materials segment. 

Financial Strength 
At the end of the fourth quarter of 2023, Nucor had $7.13 billion in total liquidity, not including the Company's $1.75 billion revolving credit facility. Nucor continues to have the strongest credit ratings in the North American steel sector (A-/A-/Baa1) with stable outlooks at Standard & Poor's, Fitch Ratings and Moody's.

Commitment to Returning Capital to Stockholders
On December 14, 2023, Nucor's Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.54 per share. This represents a 6% increase over the prior cash dividend, and is payable on February 9, 2024 to stockholders of record as of December 29, 2023. Nucor has increased its regular, or base, dividend for 51 consecutive years – every year since it first began paying dividends in 1973.

During the fourth quarter of 2023, Nucor repurchased approximately 1.0 million shares of its common stock at an average price of $177.18 per share (approximately 9.75 million shares during the full year 2023 at an average price of $159.34 per share). As of December 31, 2023, Nucor had approximately $3.32 billion, or 26 million shares, remaining authorized and available for repurchases under its share repurchase program. This share repurchase authorization is discretionary and has no scheduled expiration date.

For the full year 2023, Nucor returned approximately $2.1 billion to stockholders in the form of share repurchases and dividend payments, consistent with the Company's practice of returning at least 40% of earnings to stockholders.

Fourth Quarter of 2023 Analysis
Earnings in the fourth quarter of 2023 decreased compared to the third quarter of 2023 due to lower pricing and volumes across all three operating segments. In the steel mills segment, the decrease in realized pricing was most pronounced at our sheet and plate mills. In the steel products segment, earnings decreased due to moderating average selling prices at most of the product groups within the segment and lower volumes. Earnings for the raw materials segment decreased in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the third quarter of 2023 due to lower pricing for raw materials and planned outages at our direct reduced iron, or DRI, facilities.

First Quarter of 2024 Outlook
We expect earnings in the first quarter of 2024 to increase compared to the fourth quarter of 2023. The steel mills segment's earnings are expected to increase in the first quarter of 2024 due to higher average selling prices and volumes, particularly at our sheet mills. Earnings in the steel products segment are expected to decrease in the first quarter of 2024 due to lower average selling prices.  We expect increased earnings in the raw materials segment in the first quarter of 2024 due to the increased profitability of our DRI facilities and our scrap processing and brokerage operations.

Earnings Conference Call
An earnings call is scheduled for January 30, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time to review Nucor's fourth-quarter and full year 2023 financial results and business update. The call can be accessed via webcast from the Investor Relations section of Nucor's website (nucor.com/investors). A presentation with supplemental information to accompany the call has been posted to Nucor's Investor Relations website.

About Nucor
Nucor and its affiliates are manufacturers of steel and steel products, with operating facilities in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Products produced include: carbon and alloy steel -- in bars, beams, sheet and plate; hollow structural section tubing; electrical conduit; steel racking; steel piling; steel joists and joist girders; steel deck; fabricated concrete reinforcing steel; cold finished steel; precision castings; steel fasteners; metal building systems; insulated metal panels; overhead doors; steel grating; wire and wire mesh; and utility structures. Nucor, through The David J. Joseph Company and its affiliates, also brokers ferrous and nonferrous metals, pig iron and hot briquetted iron / direct reduced iron; supplies ferro-alloys; and processes ferrous and nonferrous scrap. Nucor is North America's largest recycler.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures
The Company uses certain non-GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) financial measures in this news release, including EBITDA. Generally, a non-GAAP financial measure is a numerical measure of a company's performance or financial position that either excludes or includes amounts that are not normally excluded or included in the most directly comparable financial measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP.

We define EBITDA as net earnings before noncontrolling interests, adding back the following items: interest (income) expense, net; provision for income taxes; depreciation; and amortization. First, second and third quarter of 2023 EBITDA was $1.89 billion, $2.34 billion and $1.82 billion, respectively, using this definition. Please note that other companies might define their non-GAAP financial measures differently than we do.

Management presents the non-GAAP financial measure of EBITDA in this news release because it considers it to be an important supplemental measure of performance. Management believes that this non-GAAP financial measure provides additional insight for analysts and investors evaluating the Company's financial and operational performance by providing a consistent basis of comparison across periods.

Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements contained in this news release are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties which we expect will or may occur in the future and may impact our business, financial condition and results of operations. The words "anticipate," "believe," "expect," "intend," "project," "may," "will," "should," "could" and similar expressions are intended to identify those forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements reflect the Company's best judgment based on current information, and, although we base these statements on circumstances that we believe to be reasonable when made, there can be no assurance that future events will not affect the accuracy of such forward-looking information. As such, the forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results may vary materially from the projected results and expectations discussed in this news release. 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 pressure 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 general market conditions, and in particular, prevailing market steel prices and changes in the supply and cost of raw materials, including pig iron, iron ore and scrap steel; (4) the availability and cost of electricity and natural gas, which could negatively affect our cost of steel production or result in a delay or cancellation of existing or future drilling within our natural gas drilling programs; (5) critical equipment failures and business interruptions; (6) market demand for steel products, which, in the case of many of our products, is driven by the level of nonresidential construction activity in the United States; (7) impairment in the recorded value of inventory, equity investments, fixed assets, goodwill or other long-lived assets; (8) uncertainties and volatility surrounding the global economy, including excess world capacity for steel production, inflation and interest rate changes; (9) fluctuations in currency conversion rates; (10) significant changes in laws or government regulations affecting environmental compliance, including legislation and regulations that result in greater regulation of greenhouse gas emissions that could increase our energy costs, capital expenditures and operating costs or cause one or more of our permits to be revoked or make it more difficult to obtain permit modifications; (11) the cyclical nature of the steel industry; (12) capital investments and their impact on our performance; (13) our safety performance; (14) our ability to integrate businesses we acquire; and (15) the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, any variants of the virus, and any other similar pandemic or public health situation. These and other factors are discussed in Nucor's regulatory filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, including those in "Item 1A. Risk Factors" of Nucor's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022. 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, except as may be required by applicable law.

 

Tonnage Data


(In thousands)





























Three Months (13 Weeks) Ended



Twelve Months (52 Weeks) Ended




December 31,
2023



December 31,
2022



Percent
Change



December 31,
2023



December 31,
2022



Percent
Change


Steel mills total shipments:

























Sheet



2,675




2,314




16

%



11,003




10,310




7

%

Bars



1,901




1,907



-




8,193




8,635




-5

%

Structural



542




445




22

%



2,113




2,292




-8

%

Plate



373




375




-1

%



1,807




1,626




11

%

Other



22




69




-68

%



157




378




-58

%




5,513




5,110




8

%



23,273




23,241



-



























Sales tons to outside customers:

























Steel mills



4,396




4,067




8

%



18,552




18,200




2

%

Joist



106




174




-39

%



510




671




-24

%

Deck



91




127




-28

%



401




515




-22

%

Cold finished



96




99




-3

%



428




467




-8

%

Rebar fabrication products



251




302




-17

%



1,169




1,282




-9

%

Piling



102




94




9

%



433




443




-2

%

Tubular products



212




215




-1

%



949




950



-


Other steel products



153




167




-8

%



596




687




-13

%

Raw materials



527




493




7

%



2,167




2,309




-6

%




5,934




5,738




3

%



25,205




25,524




-1

%

 

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Earnings (Unaudited)


(In thousands, except per share data)





















Three Months (13 Weeks) Ended



Twelve Months (52 Weeks) Ended




Dec. 31, 2023



Dec. 31, 2022



Dec. 31, 2023



Dec. 31, 2022


Net sales


$

7,704,531



$

8,723,956



$

34,713,501



$

41,512,467


Costs, expenses and other:

















Cost of products sold



6,310,813




6,626,469




26,899,107




29,009,187


Marketing, administrative and other expenses



355,001




422,823




1,584,052




1,997,178


Equity in (earnings) losses of unconsolidated affiliates



(9,112)




12,532




(12,783)




(10,714)


Losses and impairments of assets



-




101,756




-




101,756


Interest (income) expense, net



(30,280)




26,971




(29,632)




170,216





6,626,422




7,190,551




28,440,744




31,267,623


Earnings before income taxes and noncontrolling interests



1,078,109




1,533,405




6,272,757




10,244,844


Provision for income taxes



205,277




207,160




1,359,966




2,165,204


Net earnings before noncontrolling interests



872,832




1,326,245




4,912,791




8,079,640


Earnings attributable to noncontrolling interests



87,433




70,512




387,990




472,303


Net earnings attributable to Nucor stockholders


$

785,399



$

1,255,733



$

4,524,801



$

7,607,337


Net earnings per share:

















Basic


$

3.17



$

4.90



$

18.05



$

28.88


Diluted


$

3.16



$

4.89



$

18.00



$

28.79


Average shares outstanding:

















Basic



246,868




255,402




249,773




262,348


Diluted



247,249




255,838




250,412




263,176


 

Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets (Unaudited)

(In thousands)




December 31,




2023



2022


ASSETS









Current assets:









Cash and cash equivalents


$

6,383,298



$

4,280,852


Short-term investments



747,479




576,946


Accounts receivable, net



2,953,311




3,591,030


Inventories, net



5,577,758




5,453,531


Other current assets



724,012




789,325


Total current assets



16,385,858




14,691,684


Property, plant and equipment, net



11,049,767




9,616,920


Restricted cash and cash equivalents



3,494




80,368


Goodwill



3,968,847




3,920,060


Other intangible assets, net



3,108,015




3,322,265


Other assets



824,518




847,913


Total assets


$

35,340,499



$

32,479,210


LIABILITIES AND EQUITY









Current liabilities:









Short-term debt


$

119,211



$

49,081


Current portion of long-term debt and finance lease obligations



74,102




28,582


Accounts payable



2,020,289




1,649,523


Salaries, wages and related accruals



1,326,390




1,654,210


Accrued expenses and other current liabilities



1,054,517




948,348


Total current liabilities



4,594,509




4,329,744


Long-term debt and finance lease obligations due after one year



6,648,873




6,613,687


Deferred credits and other liabilities



1,973,363




1,965,873


Total liabilities



13,216,745




12,909,304


Commitments and contingencies









Equity









Nucor stockholders' equity:









Common stock



152,061




152,061


Additional paid-in capital



2,176,243




2,143,520


Retained earnings



28,762,045




24,754,873


Accumulated other comprehensive loss, net of income taxes



(162,072)




(137,517)


Treasury stock



(9,987,643)




(8,498,243)


Total Nucor stockholders' equity



20,940,634




18,414,694


Noncontrolling interests



1,183,120




1,155,212


Total equity



22,123,754




19,569,906


Total liabilities and equity


$

35,340,499



$

32,479,210


 

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows (Unaudited)

(In thousands)




Year Ended December 31,




2023



2022


Operating activities:









Net earnings before noncontrolling interests


$

4,912,791



$

8,079,640


Adjustments:









Depreciation



930,585




826,692


Amortization



237,730




234,942


Stock-based compensation



130,162




136,834


Deferred income taxes



21,419




(46,849)


Distributions from affiliates



33,621




57,071


Equity in earnings of unconsolidated affiliates



(12,783)




(10,714)


Losses and impairments of assets






101,756


Changes in assets and liabilities (exclusive of acquisitions and dispositions):









Accounts receivable



663,825




501,225


Inventories



(75,042)




962,424


Accounts payable



361,146




(496,234)


Federal income taxes



188,344




(337,359)


Salaries, wages and related accruals



(290,859)




155,005


Other operating activities



10,992




(92,379)


Cash provided by operating activities



7,111,931




10,072,054


Investing activities:









Capital expenditures



(2,214,157)




(1,947,897)


Investment in and advances to affiliates



(35,137)




(258)


Sale of business






99,681


Disposition of plant and equipment



14,907




32,277


Acquisitions (net of cash acquired)



(70,824)




(3,553,191)


Purchases of investments



(1,471,528)




(913,898)


Proceeds from the sale of investments



1,317,308




590,173


Other investing activities



(37,000)




(9,596)


Cash used in investing activities



(2,496,431)




(5,702,709)


Financing activities:









Net change in short-term debt



(24,870)




(58,642)


Proceeds from issuance of long-term debt, net of discount






2,091,934


Repayment of long-term debt



(10,000)




(1,111,000)


Bond issuance costs






(13,138)


Proceeds from exercise of stock options



11,731




22,852


Payment of tax withholdings on certain stock-based compensation



(49,318)




(64,079)


Distributions to noncontrolling interests



(435,047)




(332,293)


Cash dividends



(514,534)




(533,589)


Acquisition of treasury stock



(1,553,933)




(2,762,568)


Proceeds from government incentives






275,000


Other financing activities



(16,840)




(25,340)


Cash used in financing activities



(2,592,811)




(2,510,863)


Effect of exchange rate changes on cash



2,883




(5,920)


Increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash and cash equivalents



2,025,572




1,852,562


Cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash and cash equivalents - beginning of year



4,361,220




2,508,658


Cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash and cash equivalents - end of year


$

6,386,792



$

4,361,220


Non-cash investing activity:









Change in accrued plant and equipment purchases


$

1,053



$

4,568


 

Non-GAAP Financial Measures


Reconciliation of EBITDA (Unaudited)


(In thousands)













Three months (13 weeks) ended



Twelve months (52 weeks) ended




December 31, 2023



December 31, 2023


Net earnings before noncontrolling interests


$

872,832



$

4,912,791


Depreciation



249,432




930,585


Amortization



62,029




237,730


Interest income, net



(30,280)




(29,632)


Provision for income taxes



205,277




1,359,966


EBITDA


$

1,359,290



$

7,411,440


 

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SOURCE Nucor Corporation

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