Alcoa (AA) pushed to aggressively roll up aerospace component suppliers earlier in the decade on the belief that the markets weren't interested in a raw material producer tied to the commodity cycle. But on Tuesday, the first day the two parts of Alcoa traded as independents, it was the finished goods unit that received a cold welcome on Wall Street.
On Tuesday afternoon, the new Alcoa, a spinoff that contains the aluminum mining and production operation, traded up more than 7% while Arconic (ARNC) , the maker of finished parts for the automotive and aerospace industries, traded down by a similar amount.
The split, announced in September 2015, like the initial rollup was the product of CEO Klaus Kleinfeld's plan to revitalize the 128-year-old company and make it better able to compete against a surge in supply that has come online in emerging markets. In recent years Alcoa did a series of high-profile deals including buying Firth Rixson for $2.85 billion and RTI International Metals for $1.5 billion to build the downstream operations that now trade as Arconic.
The new company has annual sales of about $12.5 billion, with about 65% derived from markets that Alcoa described as "characterized by secular growth and compelling margins." The red-hot aerospace market accounts for about 40% of Arconic revenue, selling metal-based products that go into airframe structures and engines.
But Alcoa's last quarter as a combined entity, in which it missed analysts' expectations by 2 cents a share on sales that fell about $130 million below consensus, are likely giving would-be investors in Arconic pause on its first day of trading. The company said earlier this month that full-year downstream revenue would come in below previous forecast.