Q1 earnings for Steel Dynamics to increase from Q4, but drop year-on-year
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Fort Wayne, Indiana-based steelmaker Steel Dynamics, Inc. provided its Q1 2012 guidance Friday, indicating that earnings are expected to be $0.15 to $0.20 per diluted share. Q1 earnings will likely be improved from Q4 2011 earnings per share of $0.14, but below Q1 2011 earnings of $0.46 per share.
Steel Dynamics said that although sequential quarterly financial improvements (Q4 2011 to Q1 2012) are expected in both the company's steel and metals recycling operations, these improvements are somewhat tempered by unexpected margin compression that began to occur mid-quarter, as flat rolled markets moderated more quickly than raw material input pricing, against a backdrop of increased import interest, introduction of additional domestic capacity and reduced order activity. Reduced steel customer buying activity seemed linked to an anticipation of lower scrap pricing, despite the continued strength in demand associated with energy, construction equipment, agricultural and automotive sectors.