Alcoa (AA) shares edged higher in after-hours trading Monday, after the industrial and economic bellwether posted better-than-expected second-quarter financial results, even as aluminum prices fell 18% compared with the second quarter of 2011.
The company, which unofficially kicks off earnings season with its report, reaffirmed its full-year forecast for global aluminum demand growth of 7% and a global supply deficit for the metal in 2012 — a positive indicator that could allay some fears of a further global economic slowdown.
For the fiscal second quarter, Alcoa weighed in with a net loss of $2 million, or flat earnings per share, compared with year-ago earnings of $322 million, or 28 cents a share. When adjusted to exclude special items, earnings fell to 6 cents a share, down from 32 cents one year ago.
Second-quarter sales came in at $5.96 billion, down from year-ago sales of $6.58 billion.
The results were better than expected as analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast earnings of 5 cents a share on revenue of $5.81 billion.
“Although aluminum prices are down, the fundamentals of the aluminum market remain sound with strong demand and tight supply, and Alcoa is successfully capitalizing on accelerating demand in high-growth end markets such as aerospace and automotive,” said Klaus Kleinfeld, Chairman and CEO.
Shares of Alcoa rose slightly during the regular session, closing at $8.76 a share; the stock was up 1% on the results.