Shares of Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) fell 3.15 percent in the after-hours trading, after reporting its first quarter sales that missed Street view as the dollar weakened.
The New York-based aluminum producer said its first quarter sales grew 22 percent to $5.96 billion, but fell short of analysts' forecast of $6.07 billion. Earnings from continuing operations were $309 million or 27 cents a share, compared to a loss of $194 million or 19 cents a share last year.
Excluding a negative impact for special items of $8 million or 1 cent a share, earnings from continuing operations for the latest quarter was 28 cents a share. The year-ago results included a $295 million or 29 cents a share negative impact for special items. Analysts had expected profit of 27 cents a share for the first quarter.
Alcoa, traditionally the first company in the Dow 30 to report quarterly results, said its first quarter earnings were curbed by a weaker U.S. dollar, and higher energy and material costs.
Some costs for materials, such as caustic soda used in the processing of bauxite, are increasing following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. We are seeing increasing tightness in the Asian caustic market. Due to this disruption as well as the continuing unrest in the Middle East, we expect to see higher input costs for fuel oil, Chief Financial Officer Chuck McLane said on a conference call to discuss the earnings.
The company's end markets showed continued revenue growth in the first quarter, with aerospace segment revenue up 20 percent, packaging up 45 percent, building and construction up 26 percent and commercial transportation segment revenue up 37 percent year-over year. Third-party pricing increased for both alumina (21 percent) and aluminum (15 percent).
First quarter after-tax operating income from the company's Alumina segment nearly doubled to $142 million from $72 million a year ago. Alumina production totaled 4,024 kmt in the first quarter, up from 3,866 kmt in the first quarter of last year.
The company's Primary Metal segment reported an after-tax operating income of $202 million for the first quarter, up from $123 million last year. The Flat-Rolled Products segment reported an after-tax income of $81 million for the first quarter, an increase from $30 million prior year.
First quarter after-tax operating income from the company's Engineered Products and Solutions segment surged 60 percent to $130 million.
Looking ahead, the company said it is well on track to meet its 2011 financial targets, with debt-to-capital ratio improving to 33.6 percent. Alcoa also reaffirmed its 2011 global aluminum demand forecast of a 12 percent growth.
Our outlook for the rest of 2011 and beyond remains very positive due to the world's growing population, increasing urbanization, and aluminum's advantages as a light, strong and recyclable material, said Alcoa Chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld.
Alcoa stock closed Monday's regular trading down 0.84 percent at $17.77 on the NYSE with a volume of 43.68 million shares. In the after-hours, the stock further declined 3.15 percent to $17.21.