For the first quarter, Nucor (NYSE:NUE) net sales came in at $4.55 billion, or more than $500 million lower than the $5.07 billion the company posted in Q1 2012, the company reported Thursday.

Attributable net profit dropped more steeply, declining 42% on a year-over-year basis to $84.8 million ($0.26 per diluted share) from the $145.1 million ($0.46) in the same quarter of 2012.

In spite of the bottom-line drop, the EPS number slightly exceeded the company's previous guidance of $0.20-$0.25.

In terms of operations, Nucor's mill production dropped over the one-year time frame. Q1 2013 saw the company produce 4.8 million tons, an 8% slide from the matching period of 2012. Sales in terms of volume totaled 5.7 million tons, which was 4% lower than Q1 2012's tally.

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