Alcoa whiffs and the stock is tumbling

Aluminium giant Alcoa released its third-quarter earnings results after the market close on Thursday, and they missed expectations.

“The third quarter brought economic headwinds and significant volatility in some of our markets,” said CEO Klaus Kleinfeld in the earnings statement. “We continue to be laser focused on the things we can control.”

The company reported adjusted earnings per share of $US0.07 ($US0.13 estimated) and revenues of $US5.6 billion ($US5.64 billion expected), down 11% year-on-year.

Alcoa shares fell as much as 5% in after-hours trading. They have dropped 31% over the last 12 months.

Alcoa is seen as a bellwether for global manufacturing. And as a big player in commodities, its comments on the markets, and on China’s economy, are timely.

Alcoa projects that global aluminium demand will increase 6.5% this year and there will be a global deficit in 2016.

The company lowered its estimates for 2015 automotive production in China to 1% to 2% from 5% to 8%.

Last week, Alcoa announced that it will break up into two publicly traded companies: The Upstream Company, involved in mining, and the Value-Add Company, engaged in getting products into industrial clients’ hands.

As usual, Alcoa’s release unofficially kicks off the earnings reporting season; the big Wall Street banks and Alphabet (Google’s new parent company) will announce results next week.

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