By Claudia Assis
Alcoa Corp. said late Thursday that its first-quarter sales and earnings were the highest since 2018, blowing past Wall Street expectations, and it forecast a “strong” 2021 thanks to continued economic recovery and increased demand for aluminum.
The stock rose more than 2% in the extended session after ending the regular trading day down 1.7%.
Alcoa /zigman2/quotes/200686102/composite AA -0.11% said it earned $175 million, or 93 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $80 million, or 43 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.
Adjusted for one-time items, the aluminum and alumina producer earned 79 cents a share, versus a loss of 23 cents a share a year ago. Sales rose to $2.87 billion, from $2.38 billion a year ago, on higher aluminum and alumina prices, Alcoa said.
Analysts polled by FactSet expected Alcoa to report adjusted earnings of 45 cents a share on sales of $2.63 billion.
“We had an excellent first quarter with our best quarterly result since a record-setting year in 2018,” Chief Executive Roy Harvey said in a statement. “We excelled from the top line to the bottom line, controlling production costs and capturing the benefits of improved demand and stronger prices for alumina and aluminum.”
Alcoa kept its outlook for bauxite and aluminum shipments, or total alumina shipments expected to increase to between 14 million metric tons and 14.1 million metric tons. Total annual bauxite shipments are expected to range between 49 million and 50 million dry metric tons, Alcoa said. The aluminum segment is expected to ship between 2.7 million and 2.8 million metric tons.
The company forecast “another strong quarter” despite current energy-market conditions, uncertainty around the pandemic, and seasonal maintenance, which typically higher in the second quarter than other quarters.