Alcoa posts strongest earnings in two years

By Charles Riley, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Aluminum producer Alcoa Inc., which is the first Dow component to report results for the final quarter of 2010, posted better than expected earnings.

Shortly after markets closed, Alcoa reported earnings per share of 24 cents on income of $258 million, its highest quarterly earnings in more than two years.

Excluding gains for one-time items, such as restructuring and income tax benefits, earnings per share were 21 cents, which still topped analysts' expectations.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected Alcoa (AA, Fortune 500) to report earnings per share of 19 cents.

That's up significantly from the third quarter, when Alcoa earned six cents per share on income of $61 million.

"The better earnings per share compared to the prior quarter was basically due to the price of aluminum, which has come up quite a bit in recent months," said Bridget Freas, an analyst for Morningstar Inc.

"We exceeded all of our targets and continued to build momentum," said Klaus Kleinfeld, Alcoa chairman and CEO. "We delivered all-time record cash from operations, record fourth-quarter free cash flow, improved earnings, grew revenue and paid down debt."

Alcoa's fourth-quarter revenue was $5.7 billion, up 7% compared to the third quarter, an increase the company attributed to higher alumina and aluminum prices.

The company expects the momentum to continue, as it projects global demand for aluminum to double by 2020.

"In 2011, we see aluminum growing another 12% on top of last year's 13% improvement. We are well positioned to outpace the recovery in the markets we serve and grow shareholder value," Kleinfeld said.

Freas said Alcoa's report also revealed progress in cleaning up its cost base, eliminating overhead, and paying down debt. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,387.21 -291.49 -1.65%
Nasdaq 4,681.50 -90.27 -1.89%
S&P 500 2,029.55 -27.54 -1.34%
Treasuries 1.82 -0.00 -0.16%
Data as of 4:39am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Microsoft Corp 42.66 -4.35 -9.25%
Apple Inc 109.14 -3.96 -3.50%
Bank of America Corp... 15.63 -0.20 -1.29%
Intel Corp 34.18 -1.62 -4.52%
Cisco Systems Inc 26.90 -1.07 -3.83%
Data as of Jan 27

Sections

American Express and MasterCard are preparing to let customers use their credit cards in Cuba. More

China has beefed up its Great Firewall yet again, this time cracking down on virtual private networks, or VPNs. More

On demand delivery startup WunWun is expecting its order volume to double by the time they close up shop on Monday. All thanks to a blizzard. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2015 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2015. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2015 and/or its affiliates.