Nucor Corporation ( NUE ) has announced a hike in its quarterly cash dividend from 37 cents per share to 37.25 cents, or 0.7%. The dividend is payable on Feb 11, 2015, to shareholders of record as of Dec 31, 2014.
Nucor has been increasing its regular or base dividend for more than 40 straight years since it first began paying dividends in 1973. The company's base dividend has tripled since the end of 2007. Nucor increased its dividend in Dec 2013 to 37 cents.
Nucor's shares rose as much as 3.5% in the trading session after the announcement of the dividend hike.
Nucor released its third-quarter 2014 results in Oct 2014. The company's profit for the quarter came in at $245.4 million (or 76 cents per share), surging roughly 66.3% from $147.6 million (or 46 cents per share) posted in the prior-year quarter.
The results include a charge of 3 cents per share related to the partial write down of assets within the steel mills segment. Excluding the charge, earnings came in at 79 cents per share, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 75 cents.
The improved third-quarter results were driven by better-than-expected performance in the steel mills segment.
Nucor expects modest decrease in earnings for the fourth quarter of 2014. The company envisions that the profitability of the steel mills and downstream products segments will be affected by end-year seasonality which is typical in the fourth quarter.
Due to the process improvements and lower iron ore costs, combined with a steady run-rate, the company anticipates significant improvement in the performance of the Louisiana DRI facility in the fourth quarter and profitable results during the first quarter of 2015.
Nucor currently holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Some other stocks worth considering in the steel industry include Kobe Steel Ltd. ( KBSTY ), Mechel OAO ( MTL ) and United States Steel Corp. ( X ). While Kobe Steel sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Mechel and U.S. Steel carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report