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Nucor Reports Record Quarterly and Annual Earnings for the Fourth Quarter and Year Ended 2021

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CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Nucor Corporation (NYSE: NUE) today announced consolidated net earnings of $2.25 billion, or $7.97 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2021. By comparison, Nucor reported consolidated net earnings of $2.13 billion, or $7.28 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2021 and $398.8 million, or $1.30 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2020.

For the full year 2021, Nucor reported consolidated net earnings of $6.83 billion, or $23.16 per diluted share, compared with consolidated net earnings of $721.5 million, or $2.36 per diluted share, in 2020.

"By so many measures, 2021 was an extraordinary year for Nucor. Our team delivered incredible financial and operational results in 2021. However, I am even prouder of the fact that our team had a record year in Safety performance for the second straight year," said Leon Topalian, Nucor's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our record financial performance is the result of years of work investing to strategically position and grow our portfolio of capabilities across the steel value chain.

"We appreciate the trust our customers place in Nucor with every order and we will continue to position ourselves to build the capabilities that drive growth and shared success. Congratulations to the entire Nucor team for an extraordinary year and we look forward to continuing to lead our industry in both Safety and Profitability."

Selected Segment Data
Earnings (loss) before income taxes and noncontrolling interests by segment for the fourth quarter and full year 2021 and 2020 were as follows (in thousands):



Three Months (13 Weeks) Ended



Twelve Months (52 Weeks) Ended




Dec. 31, 2021



Dec. 31, 2020



Dec. 31, 2021



Dec. 31, 2020


Steel mills


$

3,128,700



$

208,069



$

9,735,020



$

720,151


Steel products



451,713




188,138




1,291,450




690,547


Raw materials



44,708




26,689




549,956




23,621


Corporate/eliminations



(617,364)




(205,130)




(2,375,568)




(598,781)




$

3,007,757



$

217,766



$

9,200,858



$

835,538


Financial Review
Nucor's consolidated net sales increased slightly to $10.36 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021 compared with $10.31 billion in the third quarter of 2021 and increased 97% compared with $5.26 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020. Average sales price per ton in the fourth quarter of 2021 increased 12% compared with the third quarter of 2021 and increased 99% compared with the fourth quarter of 2020. A total of 6,417,000 tons were shipped to outside customers in the fourth quarter of 2021, an 11% decrease from the third quarter of 2021 and a 1% decrease compared to the fourth quarter of 2020. Total steel mill shipments in the fourth quarter of 2021 decreased 10% as compared to the third quarter of 2021 and increased 1% compared to shipments in the fourth quarter of 2020. Steel mill shipments to internal customers represented 22% of total steel mill shipments in the fourth quarter of 2021, a slight increase compared to 21% in the third quarter of 2021 and 19% in the fourth quarter of 2020. Downstream steel product shipments to outside customers in the fourth quarter of 2021 decreased 12% from the third quarter of 2021 and decreased 1% compared to the fourth quarter of 2020.

For 2021, Nucor's consolidated net sales of $36.48 billion increased 81% compared with consolidated net sales of $20.14 billion reported in 2020. Total tons shipped to outside customers in 2021 were 28,247,000, an increase of 11% from 2020, while the average sales price per ton in 2021 increased 64% from 2020.

The average scrap and scrap substitute cost per gross ton used in the fourth quarter of 2021 was $508, a 1% decrease compared to $511 in the third quarter of 2021 and a 67% increase compared to $305 in the fourth quarter of 2020. The average scrap and scrap substitute cost per gross ton used in the full year 2021 was $469, a 62% increase compared to $290 in the full year 2020.

Pre-operating and start-up costs related to the Company's growth projects were approximately $54 million, or $0.15 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2021, compared with approximately $36 million, or $0.09 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2021 and approximately $28 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2020.

In the full year 2021, pre-operating and start-up costs related to the Company's growth projects were approximately $130 million, or $0.34 per diluted share, compared with approximately $101 million, or $0.25 per diluted share, in 2020.

Overall operating rates at the Company's steel mills decreased to 89% in the fourth quarter of 2021 as compared to 96% in the third quarter of 2021 and increased from 87% in the fourth quarter of 2020. Operating rates for the full year 2021 increased to 94% as compared to 82% for the full year 2020.

Included in the Company's fourth quarter of 2020 earnings were the following: non-cash impairment charges of $130.2 million, or $0.33 per diluted share; net benefits of $48.2 million, or $0.16 per diluted share, and $39.7 million, or $0.13 per diluted share, related to certain tax items; and a net benefit of $17.9 million, or $0.05 per diluted share, resulting from the transaction that concluded Nucor's investment in Duferdofin Nucor S.r.l.

Financial Strength
At the end of the fourth quarter of 2021, Nucor had $2.76 billion in cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments and restricted cash and cash equivalents on hand. The Company's $1.75 billion revolving credit facility remains undrawn and does not expire until November 2026. Nucor continues to have the strongest credit rating in the North American steel sector (Baa1/A-) with stable outlooks at both Moody's and Standard & Poor's.

Commitment to Returning Capital to Stockholders
During the fourth quarter of 2021, Nucor repurchased approximately 13.5 million shares of its common stock at an average price of $111.63 per share (33.8 million shares in the full year 2021 at an average price of $96.92 per share). On December 2, 2021, Nucor's Board of Directors approved a new share repurchase program under which Nucor is authorized to repurchase up to $4.00 billion of Nucor's common stock and terminated any previously authorized share repurchase programs. As of December 31, 2021, Nucor had approximately 272,000,000 shares outstanding and approximately $3.8 billion remaining available for repurchases under its share repurchase program.

On December 2, 2021, Nucor's Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.50 per share. This cash dividend is payable on February 11, 2022 to stockholders of record as of December 31, 2021 and is Nucor's 195th consecutive quarterly cash dividend. Nucor has increased its regular, or base, dividend for 49 consecutive years – every year since it first began paying dividends in 1973. For the full year 2021, Nucor returned approximately $3.76 billion to stockholders in the form of share repurchases and dividend payments.

Fourth Quarter of 2021 Analysis
Steel mills segment earnings in the fourth quarter of 2021 were comparable to the third quarter of 2021 despite lower volumes and a planned outage for the month of December at our sheet mill in Kentucky. The steel products segment generated increased earnings in the fourth quarter of 2021 as compared to the third quarter of 2021 as demand in nonresidential construction markets remained strong. Raw materials segment earnings decreased in the fourth quarter of 2021 as compared to the third quarter of 2021 primarily due to margin compression at our direct reduced iron facilities.

First Quarter of 2022 Outlook
End use market demand remains strong for steel and steel products, and we are confident that 2022 will be another year of strong profitability for Nucor. We expect consolidated net earnings attributable to Nucor stockholders in the first quarter of 2022 will be slightly reduced from the record results of the fourth quarter of 2021. Diluted earnings per share for first quarter of 2022 will benefit from lower weighted average shares outstanding.

Steel mill segment earnings are expected to decline in the first quarter of 2022 due to decreased profitability of our sheet mills. The steel products segment is expected to achieve further margin expansion and profitability in the first quarter of 2022 as backlog pricing has improved reflecting higher steel costs. Earnings of the raw materials segment are expected to improve slightly in the first quarter of 2022 as compared to the fourth quarter of 2021 due to the improved profitability of our direct reduced iron facilities, partially offset by the impact of lower scrap prices on our scrap brokerage and processing operations.

Earnings Conference Call
You are invited to listen to the live broadcast of Nucor's conference call during which management will discuss Nucor's fourth quarter results on January 27, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The conference call will be available over the Internet at www.nucor.com, under Investors.

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; 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.

Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements contained in this news release are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. 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; (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, 2020. 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



Dec. 31, 2021


Dec. 31, 2020


Percent
Change


Dec. 31, 2021


Dec. 31, 2020


Percent
Change

Steel mills total shipments:













Sheet


2,502


2,660


-6%


11,131


10,005


11%

Bars


2,177


2,072


5%


9,269


8,164


14%

Structural


607


511


19%


2,649


2,265


17%

Plate


489


485


1%


2,289


1,957


17%

Other


94


65


45%


352


295


19%



5,869


5,793


1%


25,690


22,686


13%














Sales tons to outside customers:













Steel mills


4,606


4,667


-1%


20,296


18,049


12%

Joist


173


151


15%


702


557


26%

Deck


132


131


1%


536


496


8%

Cold finished


112


106


6%


495


406


22%

Rebar fabrication products


289


284


2%


1,232


1,232


-

Piling


103


127


-19%


554


649


-15%

Tubular products


222


264


-16%


1,013


1,080


-6%

Other steel products


122


96


27%


447


374


20%

Raw materials


658


660


-


2,972


2,676


11%



6,417


6,486


-1%


28,247


25,519


11%

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Earnings (Unaudited)


(In thousands, except per share data)





















Three Months (13 Weeks) Ended



Twelve Months (52 Weeks) Ended




Dec. 31, 2021



Dec. 31, 2020



Dec. 31, 2021



Dec. 31, 2020


Net sales


$

10,364,412



$

5,260,055



$

36,483,939



$

20,139,658


Costs, expenses and other:

















Cost of products sold



6,841,211




4,541,527




25,458,525




17,911,708


Marketing, administrative and other expenses



502,070




154,119




1,706,609




615,041


Equity in (earnings) losses of unconsolidated affiliates



(37,962)




(3,889)




(103,068)




10,533


Losses and impairments of assets



11,191




314,190




62,161




613,640


Interest expense, net



40,145




36,342




158,854




153,198





7,356,655




5,042,289




27,283,081




19,304,120


Earnings before income taxes and noncontrolling interests



3,007,757




217,766




9,200,858




835,538


Provision for income taxes



667,625




(208,100)




2,078,488




(490)


Net earnings



2,340,132




425,866




7,122,370




836,028


Earnings attributable to noncontrolling interests



89,714




27,023




294,909




114,558


Net earnings attributable to Nucor stockholders


$

2,250,418



$

398,843



$

6,827,461



$

721,470


Net earnings per share:

















Basic


$

7.99



$

1.31



$

23.23



$

2.37


Diluted


$

7.97



$

1.30



$

23.16



$

2.36


Average shares outstanding:

















Basic



280,451




303,467




292,491




303,168


Diluted



281,046




303,806




293,390




303,271


Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets (Unaudited)


(In thousands)













Dec. 31, 2021



Dec. 31, 2020


ASSETS









Current assets:









Cash and cash equivalents


$

2,364,858



$

2,639,671


Short-term investments



253,005




408,004


Accounts receivable, net



3,853,972




2,298,850


Inventories, net



6,011,182




3,569,089


Other current assets



316,540




573,048


Total current assets



12,799,557




9,488,662


Property, plant and equipment, net



8,114,818




6,899,110


Restricted cash and cash equivalents



143,800




115,258


Goodwill



2,827,344




2,229,672


Other intangible assets, net



1,103,759




668,021


Other assets



833,794




724,671


Total assets


$

25,823,072



$

20,125,394


LIABILITIES









Current liabilities:









Short-term debt


$

107,723



$

57,906


Current portion of long-term debt and finance lease obligations



615,678




10,885


Accounts payable



1,974,041




1,432,159


Salaries, wages and related accruals



1,495,166




462,727


Accrued expenses and other current liabilities



964,805




664,183


Total current liabilities



5,157,413




2,627,860


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



4,961,410




5,271,789


Deferred credits and other liabilities



1,100,455




993,884


Total liabilities



11,219,278




8,893,533


EQUITY









Nucor stockholders' equity:









Common stock



152,061




152,061


Additional paid-in capital



2,140,608




2,121,288


Retained earnings



17,674,100




11,343,852


Accumulated other comprehensive loss,

net of income taxes



(115,282)




(118,861)


Treasury stock



(5,835,098)




(2,709,675)


Total Nucor stockholders' equity



14,016,389




10,788,665


Noncontrolling interests



587,405




443,196


Total equity



14,603,794




11,231,861


Total liabilities and equity


$

25,823,072



$

20,125,394


Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows (Unaudited)


(In thousands)













Twelve Months (52 Weeks) Ended




Dec. 31, 2021



Dec. 31, 2020


Operating activities:









Net earnings


$

7,122,370



$

836,028


Adjustments:









Depreciation



735,406




702,110


Amortization



129,157




83,356


Stock-based compensation



135,775




73,853


Deferred income taxes



11,665




162,836


Distributions from affiliates



200




10,521


Equity in (earnings) losses of unconsolidated affiliates



(103,068)




10,533


Losses and impairments of assets



62,161




613,640


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









Accounts receivable



(1,392,084)




(129,290)


Inventories



(2,307,336)




284,081


Accounts payable



383,428




250,561


Federal income taxes



313,679




(197,275)


Salaries, wages and related accruals



997,034




(41,169)


Other operating activities



142,389




37,092


Cash provided by operating activities



6,230,776




2,696,877


Investing activities:









Capital expenditures



(1,621,989)




(1,543,219)


Investment in and advances to affiliates



(237)




(44,427)


Disposition of plant and equipment



19,401




40,933


Acquisitions (net of cash acquired)



(1,426,424)




(88,071)


Purchase of investments



(493,889)




(488,517)


Proceeds from the sale of investments



648,887




392,178


Other investing activities



399




(33,171)


Cash used in investing activities



(2,873,852)




(1,764,294)


Financing activities:









Net change in short-term debt



49,817




(4,538)


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



196,990




1,237,635


Repayment of long-term debt



-




(97,150)


Premium on debt exchange



-




(180,383)


Bond issuance related costs



-




(6,250)


Proceeds from exercise of stock options



145,255




11,846


Payment of tax withholdings on certain stock-based compensation



(73,260)




(19,102)


Distributions to noncontrolling interests



(150,700)




(115,508)


Cash dividends



(483,469)




(491,655)


Acquisition of treasury stock



(3,276,088)




(39,499)


Other financing activities



(11,424)




(9,542)


Cash (used in) provided by financing activities



(3,602,879)




285,854


Effect of exchange rate changes on cash



(316)




1,887


(Decrease) increase in cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash and cash equivalents



(246,271)




1,220,324


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



2,754,929




1,534,605


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


$

2,508,658



$

2,754,929


Non-cash investing activity:









Change in accrued plant and equipment purchases


$

78,375



$

(16,103)


Cision
Cision

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SOURCE Nucor Corporation