Nucor Co. (NYSE:NUE) – Equities researchers at Jefferies Group boosted their FY2018 earnings estimates for Nucor in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday. Jefferies Group analyst S. Rosenfeld now forecasts that the basic materials company will post earnings of $4.62 per share for the year, up from their previous estimate of $4.49. Jefferies Group has a “Buy” rating and a $77.00 price objective on the stock. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Nucor’s FY2019 earnings at $4.94 EPS.

Several other brokerages have also recently weighed in on NUE. Zacks Investment Research raised Nucor from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, November 9th. Credit Suisse Group lifted their price objective on Nucor from $63.00 to $67.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, October 20th. Citigroup set a $66.00 price objective on Nucor and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, October 20th. ValuEngine raised Nucor from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, December 1st. Finally, Bank of America lowered their price target on Nucor from $73.00 to $71.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Friday, October 20th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $68.19.

Shares of Nucor (NUE) traded down $0.46 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $67.78. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,289,200 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,187,733. The firm has a market cap of $21,930.00, a PE ratio of 18.88, a PEG ratio of 1.29 and a beta of 1.58. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37, a current ratio of 2.11 and a quick ratio of 1.12. Nucor has a 52-week low of $51.67 and a 52-week high of $68.33.

Nucor (NYSE:NUE) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 19th. The basic materials company reported $0.79 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.78 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $5.17 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.19 billion. Nucor had a return on equity of 12.78% and a net margin of 5.80%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 20.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.88 EPS.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 9th. Investors of record on Friday, December 29th will be paid a dividend of $0.38 per share. This is an increase from Nucor’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.38. This represents a $1.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.24%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 28th. Nucor’s dividend payout ratio is 42.34%.

In related news, EVP Robert J. Stratman sold 39,037 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.88, for a total transaction of $2,493,683.56. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 233,824 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $14,936,677.12. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider D. Chad Utermark sold 9,003 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.72, for a total value of $537,659.16. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 73,883 shares in the company, valued at $4,412,292.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 80,754 shares of company stock worth $4,964,014. 0.70% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Nucor by 1.3% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 25,573,754 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $1,479,954,000 after purchasing an additional 319,596 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp raised its stake in shares of Nucor by 15.0% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 5,759,017 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $333,275,000 after purchasing an additional 750,796 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in shares of Nucor by 3.4% in the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 4,621,566 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $258,974,000 after purchasing an additional 150,219 shares during the last quarter. Prudential PLC raised its stake in shares of Nucor by 28.2% in the second quarter. Prudential PLC now owns 2,260,300 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $130,804,000 after purchasing an additional 496,700 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Boston Partners raised its stake in shares of Nucor by 3.7% in the third quarter. Boston Partners now owns 1,961,046 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $109,897,000 after purchasing an additional 70,358 shares during the last quarter. 74.31% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Nucor

Nucor Corporation (Nucor) manufactures steel and steel products. The Company produces direct reduced iron (DRI) for use in its steel mills. It operates in three segments: steel mills, steel products and raw materials. The steel mills segment produces and distributes sheet steel (hot-rolled, cold-rolled and galvanized), plate steel, structural steel (wide-flange beams, beam blanks, H-piling and sheet piling) and bar steel (blooms, billets, concrete reinforcing bar, merchant bar, wire rod and special bar quality).

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