CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Steel company Nucor Corp. said Tuesday that the operating performance in its steel mills has improved, and it issued a third-quarter earnings forecast that largely tops last year's performance.
The Charlotte, N.C., company's stock rose at a faster pace than the broader market in morning trading Tuesday.
Nucor said it expects earnings to range between 35 cents and 40 cents per share in the quarter that ends Sept. 28. That compares to earnings of 35 cents per share in last year's third quarter.
Analysts expect, on average, earnings of 38 cents per share, according to FactSet.
Nucor's products include carbon and alloy steel, joists and joist girders and fabricated concrete reinforcing steel. It said its steel mills performance has improved compared to this year's second quarter, with a stronger performance in sheet and structural steel.
The company also said non-residential construction markets continue to lack sustained momentum so far this year, but they are slowly improving from historically low levels.
Nucor said in July that lower steel prices hurt its performance in the second quarter, contributing to a 24 percent drop in earnings.
Shares of Nucor rose 68 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $49.77 in morning trading Tuesday while the Standard & Poor's 500 index edged up less than 1 percent. That put the stock price up more than 15 percent so far this year.