(By Balachander) Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue, and shares of the Dow component rose 1.86 percent in extended trading on Tuesday.
Looking ahead for the full year 2013, Alcoa forecast global aluminum demand growth of 7 percent, up from 6 percent in 2012.
Excluding items, earnings per share (EPS) from continuing operations were 6 cents for the fourth quarter, matching market expectations.
The largest U.S. producer of aluminum posted net earnings of $242 million or 21 cents a share. In the year-ago quarter, the company lost $143 million or 3 cents a share.
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Revenue declined 2.0 percent to $5.90 billion versus consensus estimate of a 6.50 percent decline. Revenue rose 1 percent on a sequential basis due to improved realized pricing for aluminum, the company said.
"Alcoa hit record profitability in our mid and downstream businesses, and continued to drive efficiency in our upstream businesses in the fourth quarter, all while cutting debt and maintaining our cash position," commented CEO Klaus Kleinfeld.
Adjusted EBITDA margin improved to 10.1 percent from 7.4 percent in the year-ago quarter.
In the preceding third quarter, the company posted EPS from continuing operations of 3 cents on revenue drop of 9.0 percent amid weak aluminum prices. Alcoa posted a net loss of $143 million.
New York-based Alcoa's results are eyed closely as it usually is the first Dow component to report earnings, and investors often watch AA's results to gauge how earnings may fare for other companies.
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The company provides aluminum to companies engaged in the manufacturing of automobiles and aerospace products, as well as to the construction market.
The stock, which has been trading in the 52-week range between $7.97 and $10.92, closed Tuesday's regular trading at $9.13.