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Why Nucor’s 4Q17 Shipment Profile Looks Encouraging

Mohit Oberoi, CFA - Author
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Aug. 18 2020, Updated 5:17 a.m. ET

4Q17 shipment profile

Steel companies’ revenues are a function of average steel prices and shipments. So it makes sense for investors to follow quarterly production and shipment data. In this article, we’ll do a comparative analysis of steel companies’ 4Q17 shipments.

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Comparative analysis

  • U.S. Steel Corporation (X) shipped 3.87 million tons of steel in 4Q17. In comparison, its shipments were 3.76 million tons in 4Q16 and 3.79 million tons in 3Q17. U.S. Steel’s 4Q17 steel shipments showed a sequential rise, due to higher shipments in its Europe operations. Looking at its US operations, we see that the company’s Flat-Rolled and Tubular segments reported fewer shipments in 4Q17 than 3Q17.
  • Steel Dynamics (STLD) shipped 2.18 million tons of steel to outside customers in 4Q17, compared to 2.04 million tons in 4Q16. However, the company’s 4Q17 steel shipments fell 3.8% on a sequential basis.
  • AK Steel (AKS) shipped ~1.3 million tons of flat steel in 4Q17, compared to ~1.4 million tons in 4Q16. The company’s 4Q17 steel shipments were 2.3% lower than 3Q17.
  • Nucor’s (NUE) 4Q17 steel shipments rose 12.6% year-over-year to 6.5 million tons. The yearly rise is predominantly due to inorganic growth, Nucor’s 4Q17 steel shipments fell only 1.0% sequentially, which is lower than other US-based steel producers. Notably, Nucor has been gaining market share in the automotive steel market.
  • ArcelorMittal’s (MT) NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) segment reported a 7.3% sequential decline in steel shipments. The company’s consolidated steel shipments also fell on a sequential basis in 4Q17.

In the next part of this series, we’ll look at steel companies’ 1Q18 shipment guidance.

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