Alcoa Beats Worst Street Expectations

Alcoa earns enough in the second quarter to defy the worst expectations of the Street.
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earned 13 cents a share in the second quarter, meeting the Street consensus and actually doing better than many expected. Over the past month, several analysts had dropped Alcoa earnings estimates all the way from 19 cents or 20 cents down to 10 cents per share.

Alcoa reported stronger volumes, productivity improvements, favorable currency and lower energy costs as offsets for slightly lower aluminum prices in the second quarter.

Analysts had said going into the Alcoa earnings that with metals pricing flat in the second quarter, currency and cost reductions could move the earnings needle as much as five cents in either direction for Alcoa.

Alcoa beat the Street on the top line also, generating revenue of $5.2 billion, slightly ahead of the consensus revenue number at an even $5 billion.

Investors are more interested in the outlook for aluminum and Alcoa than the second quarter -- when pricing was flat. Notably, Alcoa raised its aluminum consumption forecast for the full year from 10% to 12%.

"The top and bottom line growth was driven by higher volumes from stronger end markets and continued gains from our productivity programs. Based on this improved end-market demand, we are raising our projection for aluminum consumption from 10% to 12% this year," said Klaus Kleinfeld, Alcoa Chairman and CEO in the earnings release.

Alcoa was down less than 1% in the after-hours session after reporting its earnings.

Alcoa has been the biggest loser among Dow components this year, and the Street remains divided over the outlook for aluminum pricing and the supply demand balance.

Alcoa shares were up close to 4% in the after-hours session on Monday.

-- Written by Eric Rosenbaum from New York.


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