Standard & Poor's said late Monday it had raised its ratings outlook on Alcoa Inc. to stable from negative, citing the aluminum company's efforts to bolster its credit and provide a better mix of products for current market conditions. "Alcoa has been actively restructuring its businesses, focusing on higher margin products in its Engineered Products and Solutions segment, closing high cost plants, and focusing its investment on improving its upstream businesses," the ratings service said. Earlier Monday Alcoa announced it has bought RTI International Metals Inc. , a titanium producer, for $1.5 billion, further enhancing its position as a supplier of high-end products to the aerospace industry. "We expect the company to maintain its strong liquidity position, improve its balance sheet, and continue to reduce its cost structure," S&P credit analyst William Ferara said in a note. At the same time, S&P left Alcoa's BBB- credit rating unchanged. Alcoa shares were up 0.4% in after-hours trade, rising from a 5.4% decline during the regular session.
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