CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Nucor Corporation (NYSE: NUE) today announced guidance for its fourth quarter ending December 31, 2019. Nucor expects fourth quarter earnings to be in the range of $0.25 to $0.30 per diluted share. This range is a decrease compared to third quarter of 2019 earnings of $0.90 per diluted share and a decrease relative to fourth quarter of 2018 earnings of $2.07 per diluted share.
The performance of the steel mills segment in the fourth quarter of 2019 is expected to decrease compared to the third quarter of 2019 as lower steel prices at the end of the third quarter have impacted our fourth quarter results. During the fourth quarter domestic scrap metal prices have risen markedly and our sheet, plate, structural and bar mills have all implemented price increases. We believe this reflects healthy underlying demand for our steel mill products. We expect that the performance of our steel mills segment will improve as we head into 2020, reflecting the impact of the price increases and normal seasonality.
The profitability of the steel products segment in the fourth quarter of 2019 is expected to decrease slightly as compared to the third quarter of 2019 due to normal year-end seasonality. However, we expect the profitability of the steel products segment in the fourth quarter of 2019 to be the best fourth quarter in that segment's history and significantly higher than the fourth quarter of 2018.
Losses of the raw materials segment are expected to increase in the fourth quarter of 2019 as compared to the third quarter of 2019 due to the impact of our Louisiana DRI plant's planned outage which was completed in mid-November – as well as expected further margin compression throughout our raw materials businesses.
Nucor and its affiliates are manufacturers of steel and steel products, with operating facilities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. 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; precision castings; 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 hot briquetted iron / 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. These forward-looking statements reflect the Company's best judgement 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 steel prices and changes in the supply and cost of raw materials, including pig iron, iron ore and scrap steel; (4) 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; 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 "Item 1A. Risk Factors" of Nucor's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018. 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.
SOURCE Nucor Corporation