LIVE: Alcoa Announces Earnings

Alcoa aluminium EuropeAlcoa Inc.’s aluminium plant in Sardinian is pictured in Portovesme, next to Cagliari September 1, 2012.

aluminium producer Alcoa will announce earnings after the bell today at 4:05 p.m. ET.

Analysts expect EPS of $0.06, unchanged from last year.

It’s the first big earnings announcement of the quarter.

Jim Cramer argued today the firm remains an excellent economic bellwether — “a global barometer of every single area that should be on fire if the rise in interest rates is right.”

But London-traded aluminium has fallen nearly 10% in the past 12 months, and the Wall Street Journal’s Spencer Jakab argues the aluminium market — and Alcoa’s earnings — don’t mean what they used to:

Alcoa’s shares have dropped on the day following its earnings report two-thirds of the time since 2008. It hasn’t done all that well on other days, either. The equity bull market has effectively passed it by. Alcoa has lagged behind the broad market by nearly 25 percentage points this year, leaving it near a four-year low.

Even if Alcoa beats the consensus forecast for second-quarter earnings of six cents a share on Monday, up from zero a year earlier, investors will likely be more interested in management’s comments on the glutted market for metals.

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