Aluminum products maker Alcoa (NYSE: AA) unofficially kicked off the first-quarter earnings season with a beat on Wall Street’s expectations, reporting earnings per share of 33 cents against forecasts of 29 cents.
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Net income was $432 million on revenue of $6.4 billion, also topping analysts’ expectations of slightly more than $6 billion. In the fourth quarter of 2013 net income was $40 million, or $0.04 per share.
Alcoa’s shares were up 20 cents, or 1.24%, to $16.37, in after-hours trading.
After adjusting for one-time expenses, Alcoa reported fourth quarter net income of $159 million, or 11 cents per share. The one-time expenses included $273 million in special items largely tied to previously announced restructurings to its upstream and midstream operations as Alcoa works to enhance its portfolio.
Company officials cited higher sales in Alcoa's value-add businesses, comprising the mid and downstream, as well as favorable metal prices and energy sales for driving the company's year-over-year revenue increase.
"Our strong fourth quarter capped a pivotal year as we significantly accelerated Alcoa's transformation," said Klaus Kleinfeld, Alcoa Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in a statement. "As we built out our value-add businesses, we gained profitable share across exciting downstream growth markets and captured aerospace and automotive growth in the midstream.”
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Alcoa’s Global Rolled Products continued to benefit from the shift to aluminum intensive vehicles, the company said, and reported shipping a record volume of automotive sheet.
In its Global Primary Products, which comprises Alumina and Primary Metals, the Alumina segment's profitability more than doubled year-over-year, according to Alcoa’s earnings statement. Primary Metals adjusted EBITDA per metric ton was the strongest since second quarter 2008, the company added, primarily reflecting a lower cost, globally competitive commodity business.
Special items in fourth quarter 2014 included $200 million in restructuring-related costs, approximately 80 percent non-cash, primarily tied to the sales of three European rolling and an ownership stake in a bauxite mining and alumina refining joint venture in Jamaica.