As a result, Nucor posted profit of $91 million, or 29 cents a share, better than the consensus estimate among sell side analysts of 26 cents a share. In the second period of 2009, Nucor lost $133 million, or 43 cents a share.

Revenue rose 15% from last year to $4.2 billion.

On a gangbuster day for U.S. equities generally, Nucor shares were solidly in the green. In morning trading Thursday, the stock was changing hands at $40.34, up 3% from the previous close.

Other steel names were also gaining ground: U.S. Steel ( X) and AK Steel ( AKS), both slated to report results on Tuesday, were rising 3.4% and 4.2% respectively.

Nucor's smaller electric-arc-furnace peer, Steel Dynamics ( STLD), also gave a downbeat outlook when it released results Monday evening. But amid a bullish week of trading, albeit on light midsummer volumes, steelmaker shares have advanced.

-- Written by Scott Eden in New York

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Scott Eden has covered business -- both large and small -- for more than a decade. Prior to joining TheStreet.com, he worked as a features reporter for Dealmaker and Trader Monthly magazines. Before that, he wrote for the Chicago Reader, that city's weekly paper. Early in his career, he was a staff reporter at the Dow Jones News Service. His reporting has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Men's Journal, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, and the Believer magazine, among other publications. He's also the author of Touchdown Jesus (Simon & Schuster, 2005), a nonfiction book about Notre Dame football fans and the business and politics of big-time college sports. He has degrees from Notre Dame and Washington University in St. Louis.

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