Alcoa Beats by a Penny

The second-quarter numbers are strong at one aluminum smelter.
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posted stronger-than-expected second-quarter numbers late Thursday, posting a 13% revenue rise on a record performance in the alumina business.

For the quarter ended June 30, the Pittsburgh-based aluminum giant earned $473 million, or 54 cents a share, from continuing operations. That's up from the year-ago $405 million, or 46 cents a share. Excluding latest-quarter unusual items, second-quarter earnings were 46 cents a share, a penny ahead of the Thomson First Call analyst consensus estimate.

Sales rose 13% from a year ago and 8% sequentially to $6.76 billion, driven by higher volumes and the acquisition of fabricating facilities in Russia.

A record performance by the alumina business, a better mix of value-added fabricated products, coupled with stronger pricing and demand in the aerospace, commercial vehicle and building markets, drove revenue higher, Alcoa said. That offset lower realized prices in the primary metals business. All of the company's six major business segments achieved third-party revenue growth vs. year-ago and sequential-quarter comparisons.

"We achieved the highest quarterly income and revenues in Alcoa history," said CEO Alain Belda. "We delivered strong results and took necessary steps to restructure, control costs and lay the framework for solid performance over the long term."

The news comes two weeks after Alcoa outlined the

latest cutbacks in a sweeping restructuring that has cost workers thousands of jobs.

On Thursday, Alcoa rose a nickel to $26.05.