Correction: SDI Earnings for 1Q 2017

Written by John Packard

Correction: In last Thursday’s issue of Steel Market Update we mistakenly referenced earnings from a previous period instead of the 1Q 2017 report. Here is what Steel Dynamics had to say in their announcement on April 19, 2017:

FORT WAYNE, Ind., April 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Steel Dynamics, Inc. (NASDAQ/GS: STLD) today announced first quarter 2017 financial results.  The company reported first quarter 2017 net income of $201 million, or $0.82 per diluted share, with net sales of $2.4 billion.  Comparatively, prior year first quarter net income was $63 million, or $0.26 per diluted share, with net sales of $1.7 billion.  Sequential fourth quarter 2016 net income was $20 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, which included non-cash goodwill and asset impairment charges of $0.31 per diluted share and debt refinancing and repayment charges of $0.04 per diluted share.  Excluding these items, the company’s adjusted fourth quarter 2016 net income was $106 million, or $0.43 per diluted share.

“The team executed well and delivered a strong first quarter performance with all of our operating platforms improving profitability,” said Mark D. Millett, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our first quarter 2017 income from operations increased over 75 percent sequentially to $335 million with adjusted EBITDA of $421 million.  The increase in our earnings was principally driven by our flat roll operations, as demand was strong and customer inventory levels continued to be positioned at historically low levels.  We also experienced increased shipments from our long product steel divisions.  Steel demand from the automotive sector remained steady and construction continued to improve.  Additionally, specific to our Engineered Bar Products Division, there was an overall general demand improvement, supported by positive movement in the heavy equipment and energy sectors.               

“Operating income from our metals recycling platform more than doubled in the first quarter 2017, as domestic steel mill utilization increased, strengthening both ferrous scrap shipments and metal spread,” continued Millett. “Additionally, in what is typically a seasonally lower demand timeframe for our fabrication operations, the team achieved record quarterly shipments and improved earnings, a strong indicator that the non-residential construction market is continuing a positive growth profile.”

The company generated strong cash flow from operations of $240 million during the first quarter 2017. As evidence of the confidence in the company’s sustainable long-term cash flow generation capability, the board of directors approved an 11 percent increase in the company’s first quarter 2017 cash dividend, reflecting the strength of the company’s capital structure and liquidity profile, and the continued optimism and confidence in its future prospects.

Additional First Quarter 2017 Comments

First quarter 2017 operating income for the company’s steel operations increased 62 percent to $352 million sequentially, based on a 12 percent increase in shipments and metal spread expansion.  The company’s average steel product price increased more than consumed raw material scrap costs, resulting in steel metal spread expansion.  The first quarter 2017 average product selling price for the company’s steel operations increased $63 to $743 per ton.  The average ferrous scrap cost per ton melted increased $44 to $264 per ton.

First quarter 2017 operating income attributable to the company’s flat roll products increased 67 percent when compared to the sequential fourth quarter, driven by an 11 percent increase in shipments combined with metal spread expansion. Operating income from long products increased 39 percent as a result of a 16 percent improvement in shipments, primarily from the company’s Engineered Bar Products and Structural and Rail divisions.  Long product steel selling values remain under pressure from excess domestic production capability, coupled with elevated import levels.  The company’s steel production utilization rate was 95 percent in the first quarter 2017, compared to 81 percent in the sequential fourth quarter and compared to the domestic industry utilization rate of 75 percent.    

First quarter 2017 operating income from the metals recycling operations was $21 million, compared to $10 million in the sequential fourth quarter (excluding a non-cash goodwill impairment charge of $5.5 million).  Both ferrous scrap demand and pricing increased as domestic steel mill utilization improved.

The company’s fabrication operations recorded first quarter 2017 operating income of $24 million, compared to sequential fourth quarter results of $18 million.  Despite what is typically a lower demand season, the platform achieved record quarterly shipments, which more than offset moderate margin compression as product pricing declined slightly more than steel input costs.


“The company believes that current and anticipated macroeconomic and market conditions are in place to benefit the domestic steel industry in the coming year,” said Millett.  “Although domestic automotive production may be coming off record levels, we believe 2017 North American automotive steel consumption will be steady, and that there will be additional growth in the construction sector, especially for larger, public sector infrastructure projects.  Additionally, the energy sector has begun to strengthen.

“We continue to see progress at our Columbus Flat Roll Division.  The successful market and product diversification achieved at Columbus will continue to benefit the coming years as we have accessed numerous new customers and end markets. The Columbus team completed construction of a $100 million paint line in the fourth quarter 2016, adding 250,000 tons of value-added painting capability. Start-up is going well, with painted shipments of just under 13,000 tons in the first quarter.

“We continue to strengthen our financial position through strong cash flow generation and the execution of our long-term strategy. We are well-positioned for growth, and remain focused on delivering shareholder value through organic and strategic growth opportunities,” concluded Millett.

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