Growth Companies

Alcoa’s Profit Drops 77% in Third Quarter

The aluminum company's results disappoint in the first reporting period since it announced it would split into two companies.
Matthew HellerOctober 9, 2015

Alcoa’s first earnings report since it announced it was breaking up into two companies was something of a disappointment, with adjusted net income for the third quarter of 7 cents a share falling below analysts’ estimate of 13 cents.

Revenue of $5.6 billion came in roughly in line with estimates, but the adjusted profit was down 77% from the same period last year.

“The results show the challenges facing Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Klaus Kleinfeld in his quest to split the 127-year-old company in two under the weight of a global aluminum glut,” Bloomberg commented.

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Under the restructuring plan announced last week, Alcoa’s manufacturing units that serve markets such as aerospace and automotive will be separated from its struggling legacy smelting and refining business. The price of aluminum has fallen 19% in the past year.

In the third quarter, Alcoa’s “downstream” manufacturing business missed forecasts, with after-tax operating income falling 6.2% from a year earlier to $257 million. The aluminum-smelting business had a loss of $59 million, compared with income of $245 million a year earlier.

“They experienced execution problems in the engineered products and solutions segment,” Justin Bergner, an analyst at Gabelli & Co., told Bloomberg.

Kleinfeld has spent more than $3.5 billion in the past two years to buy aerospace-components makers including RTI International Metals, Tital GmbH, and Firth Rixson, while also expanding existing facilities that fabricate aluminum used in the aerospace, energy, and automotive sectors.

“Either one or both of the RTI or Firth Rixson [acquisitions] are proving harder to integrate than management expected,” Bergner said.

Kleinfeld said in a news release that the third quarter had “brought economic headwinds and significant volatility in some of our markets,” but Alcoa had made its “upstream” legacy businesses less vulnerable to commodity downswings and “intensified innovation and growth” in the manufacturing businesses.

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