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CHARLOTTE, N.C. , Dec. 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Nucor Corporation (NYSE: NUE) today announced guidance for its fourth quarter ending December 31, 2022 . Nucor expects fourth quarter earnings to be in the range of $4.25 to $4.35 per diluted share. Nucor reported net earnings of $6.50 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2022 and $7.97 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2021. Full year earnings for 2022 remains on track to exceed the record of $23.16 per diluted share Nucor set in 2021. Wireway Steel Tube
Included in the expected fourth quarter earnings range is an approximately $58 million net benefit, or $0.22 per diluted share, related to state tax credits.
In the steel mills segment, we expect considerably lower earnings in the fourth quarter of 2022 as compared to the third quarter of 2022 due to lower average selling prices, margin compression and lower volumes, with the largest decrease in profitability expected at our sheet mills. Shipments for our bar mills are expected to be lower due to seasonal factors with customers reducing inventories as year-end approaches.
The steel products segment is expected to have strong earnings in the fourth quarter of 2022, but we expect the segment's earnings to decline moderately from the third quarter of 2022 on lower volumes and selling prices. While we believe these trends are mainly seasonal effects, economic uncertainty and recession concerns could impact future demand.
The raw materials segment is expected to have significantly decreased earnings in the fourth quarter of 2022 as compared to the third quarter of 2022 due to decreased profitability of our DRI facilities, both of which experienced planned outages during the fourth quarter, and decreased selling prices for raw materials.
During the fourth quarter, Nucor has repurchased approximately 3.1 million shares at an average price of $130.30 per share (approximately 20.6 million shares year-to-date at an average price of $134.29 per share). Nucor has returned approximately $3.3 billion to stockholders in the form of share repurchases and dividend payments year-to-date.
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; and wire and wire mesh. Nucor, through The David J. Joseph Company, 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.
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 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 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; and (14) the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and any variants of the virus. These and other factors are discussed in Nucor's regulatory filings with the 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, 2021 . 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.
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