April 22, 2021, 9:24 a.m. EDT

Nucor posts record profit as selling prices jump

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By Dave Sebastian

Nucor Corp. said strong demand and higher average selling prices brought the company to its most profitable quarter on record.

The steel maker on Thursday posted a net income attributable to shareholders of $942.4 million for the first quarter, compared with $20.33 million in the comparable quarter last year. Earnings were $3.10 a share, compared with 7 cents a share in the prior year.

First-quarter net sales were $7.02 billion, up from $5.62 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet were looking for $7.2 billion.

The company expects its second-quarter earnings to set a new record, President and Chief Executive Leon Topalian said.

It sees gains from sheet and plate mills, though the profitability of the raw materials segment is expected to fall in the second quarter compared with the first quarter due to rising raw materials input costs, the company said.

"Most of the end-use markets we serve remain strong and inventories remain lean across supply chains," Mr. Topalian said. "We believe the current favorable demand environment will continue through the rest of 2021."

The average sales price per ton rose 25% over the year-ago period. Steel mills total shipments rose about 1% to 6.54 million tons, the company said.

Write to Dave Sebastian at dave.sebastian@wsj.com

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