Alcoa Sales Tops Estimates as Prices Increase

Aluminum producer Alcoa Corp. that split from its car- and jets-parts business in 2016, posted higher than had been expected sales thanks in part to a price increase in the metal.

Revenue for the fourth quarter climbed by 3.5% from the same period one year ago to end at $2.54 billion, said the company, based in New York on Tuesday afternoon.

That figure topped estimates by analysts that averaged $2.38 billion.

The report is the first chance for investors to see how Alcoa fared after its split as it retained its legacy commodity assets but no longer has its downstream businesses, which were formed into Arconic, Inc.

Alcoa shares have done very well since last November’s split, helped in part by a rebound in the price of aluminum following years of lower prices and reductions in mining along with smelting.

Pricing increased in the late part of the recently ended fourth quarter. It has continued to increase as well into the ongoing first quarter of 2017 said a Wall Street analyst following the release of Alcoa’s financials Tuesday afternoon.

If the pricing continues to increase, which many analysts feel it will, than it would be a good argument for revenue to be even higher for the current quarter than it was in the just ended 2016 fourth quarter, said an industry analyst in New York City.

Shares of Alcoa rose by 2.4% following the posting of its quarterly results during regular Wall Street trading. Alcoa stock has soared by over 63% since November 1 through the close of business on Tuesday.

Prices of aluminum for delivery in three months increased 13% from the same period one year ago during the fourth quarter to an average for a metric ton of $1,709.22.

Alumina, the raw material that is needed to make aluminum in a process requiring huge amounts of electricity, was up during December from the same period one year earlier, said analysts in the industry. The surge in alumina also gave a boost to revenue at Alcoa.

Alcoa posted a $125 million net loss for its fourth quarter, which compared to an $826 million loss for the same period one year ago.

Profit, eliminating items that were one-off ended the quarter at just over 14 cents per share, which missed an average by analysts of profit of 20 cents per share.

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