Nucor Co. (NYSE:NUE) – Analysts at Jefferies Group lifted their FY2018 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for Nucor in a research report issued on Tuesday. Jefferies Group analyst S. Rosenfeld now anticipates 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 currently has a “Buy” rating and a $77.00 target price on the stock. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Nucor’s FY2019 earnings at $4.94 EPS.

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

Several other equities research analysts have also issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research raised Nucor from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $76.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday. Bank of America set a $75.00 price objective on Nucor and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday. ValuEngine raised Nucor from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Sunday, December 31st. Longbow Research raised Nucor from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 20th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $62.00 price objective on Nucor and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, November 17th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Nucor presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $68.37.

Nucor (NYSE:NUE) traded down $1.16 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $69.02. The company had a trading volume of 2,597,404 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,925,584. The company has a market capitalization of $21,940.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.23, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.29 and a beta of 1.58. Nucor has a 12 month low of $51.67 and a 12 month high of $70.48. The company has a quick ratio of 1.12, a current ratio of 2.11 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Bristol Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Nucor in the fourth quarter worth about $248,000. Appleton Partners Inc. MA purchased a new position in shares of Nucor in the fourth quarter worth about $204,000. Rockland Trust Co. purchased a new position in shares of Nucor in the fourth quarter worth about $206,000. Abner Herrman & Brock LLC increased its holdings in shares of Nucor by 44.8% in the fourth quarter. Abner Herrman & Brock LLC now owns 122,725 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $7,803,000 after buying an additional 37,965 shares during the period. Finally, Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC increased its holdings in shares of Nucor by 0.6% in the third quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 737,059 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $41,305,000 after buying an additional 4,462 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 74.31% of the company’s stock.

In other Nucor news, EVP Robert J. Stratman sold 39,037 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated 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 sale, the executive vice president now owns 233,824 shares in the company, valued at $14,936,677.12. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider D. Chad Utermark sold 9,003 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.72, for a total value of $537,659.16. Following the sale, the insider now owns 73,883 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,412,292.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 80,754 shares of company stock worth $4,964,014 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 0.70% of the company’s stock.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 9th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 29th will be given a dividend of $0.38 per share. This is an increase from Nucor’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.38. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 28th. This represents a $1.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.20%. Nucor’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 42.34%.

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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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