Alcoa, Inc. Cuts Aluminum Demand Guidance, Q1 Results Mixed At Best

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Alcoa, Inc. kicked off earnings season on Monday by reporting its quarterly numbers first among major U.S. companies.

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Alcoa reported earnings per share of $0.07, a big decline considering it reported $0.28 EPS in Q1 2015. The year-over-year earnings decline was expected, as aluminum prices fell steeply last year, which would likely negatively impact earnings of other producers this quarter.

Alcoa inc stock price

Alcoa, Inc. stock price. Source:

Still, despite the decline, earnings came in higher than the average analyst expected. However, that doesn’t help lift Alcoa’s stock price. Shares of the company are just mirroring the performance of aluminum prices, recovering since the start of the year but they still have yet to make a substantial upside move.

Revenues Disappoint

Alcoa’s revenues really disappointed. The company posted a year-over-year decline of 15%, missing estimates. A combination of capacity curtailments and lower selling prices due to the slump in commodity prices caused the decline. Moreover, Alcoa’s downstream segment performance and outlook failed to cheer up investors. Alcoa’s downstream business was decent but, again, failed to compensate for the weakness in its upstream business.

Alcoa saw some revenue growth thanks to the acquisitions made by the company in the aerospace component space over the last few quarters. Alcoa expects the aerospace market to remain solid, however, the company has lowered the long-term guidance in its segment. Lower demand projections from Alcoa’s key end market is a big negative for the company.

Alcoa’s Global Rolled Products segment (GRP) revenue fell 16% compared to the same period last year. The company attributed the fall to lower volumes and pricing pressure from the packaging sector. Finally, a slowdown in the heavy truck market took a toll on Alcoa’s revenue performance.

Aluminum Outlook

Apart from lowering the aerospace demand growth forecast, Alcoa also gave a bearish outlook for aluminum markets. Alcoa has now revised down its 2016 global aluminum demand growth projection to 5% from the 8% number it gave just a quarter ago.

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However, Alcoa maintained the deficit projection since the company believes there will be more supply cuts. Alcoa’s deficit projection still seems too optimistic, especially when we are witnessing some of the idled smelters in China restarting.

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