(Bloomberg) -- Shares of Nucor Corp., the largest U.S. steelmaker, fell as much as 6.8% after posting weaker-than-anticipated quarterly earnings thanks to decreasing steel shipments and backlogs stuck close to a record high.
After a historic rally in steel prices that boosted Nucor’s stock about 92% this year, the rare miss by the producer suggested that high prices may finally be hurting demand. The Charlotte-based company reported third-quarter earnings of $7.28 a share as steel deliveries fell 4% from the second quarter, according to a statement.
The miss is “likely attributed to broader ‘supply chain bottlenecks’ impacting most other producers in this sector,” BMO Capital Markets analyst David Gagliano wrote in a note to clients.
The stock had its biggest drop in a month before paring some losses. Shares were down 2.6% at $102.42 as of 10:29 a.m. trading in New York.
Nucor said last month that it expected earnings to be between $7.30 and $7.40 a share. The miss comes a day after Kaiser Aluminum Corp., which makes parts for the automotive and aerospace industries, fell short of profit estimates partly due to the ongoing shortage of semiconductors. Kaiser said the shortage has significantly impacted North American vehicle production, delaying the recovery of its auto business.
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