Alcoa sees brighter 2013, but remains cautious

Tue Jan 8, 2013 5:28pm EST
 

(Reuters) - Alcoa Inc (AA.N: Quote), the largest aluminum producer in the U.S., expressed cautious optimism that demand for the metal will continue to grow in 2013, helped in part by global growth in the aerospace and construction markets.

The company posted a fourth-quarter profit on Tuesday, in line with Wall Street expectations, and handily beat expectations on revenue, helping calm investors' nerves after a rocky 2012.

"I'm more optimistic that 2013 is a year with upside potential compared to where we came from," Alcoa Chief Executive Klaus Kleinfeld told CNBC on Tuesday.

Shares of Alcoa rose 1.3 percent in after-hours trading, as investors were buoyed by Alcoa's turn to profit.

Analysts breathed a sigh of relief from the results of the first S&P 500 company to report fourth-quarter results, hoping it was a sign of things to come.

"I think it was a good solid quarter. Not a barnburner but a good quarter," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer at Solaris Asset Management in Bedford Hills. "It's certainly important in this type of environment to look at revenues."

Investors tend to scrutinize Alcoa's results for hints on where the overall economy is headed, as the company's aluminum products are used in the automotive, appliance and airline industries.

The company said it expects global aluminum consumption growth of 7 percent in 2013, up slightly from 6 percent in 2012. Alcoa continues to forecast a doubling of global aluminum demand between 2010 and 2020.

Alcoa forecasts global growth in the aerospace, automotive and construction markets, among other industries, in 2013.   Continued...

 
People leave the Alcoa Business Services Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in this February 13, 2007 file photo. REUTERS/Jason Cohn/Files