This NASDAQ report on Nucor’s 4th quarter forecast – expecting year-over-year growth from Q4 2010, but a decline from Q3 numbers – also discusses how the steel manufacturer’s strengths and weaknesses play into the manufacturing market and industry. Of course, like any commodity, pricing of Nucor’s products – sheet steel, rolled steel, and so on – and subsequent profit or loss, is tied directly to the performance of those companies that purchase these materials.

Core U.S. manufacturing sectors like automotive, energy, and heavy equipment have, according to Nucor, been stronger this year than last. Obviously, this is great news, with the only minor downside being that an especially strong early 2011 means that a downward trend was shown for the year as a whole. Especially in this still-uncertain economic climate, such ups and downs are to be expected, and we see a positive outlook in the fact that this year’s lows are higher than last year’s lows – and, in some cases, are even better than previous highs. Also something to look forward to: a renewed burst of raw material purchasing as budgets are replenished in January, promising another early-year boom for 2012. Keep in touch with Keats for more information moving forward!

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