Alcoa Inc, the largest U.S. aluminum producer, posted a fourth-quarter profit that topped Wall Street forecasts as aluminum prices and demand rose after two years of weakness.
Revenue rose 4 percent to $5.7 billion, helped by the 5 percent increase in prices for the metal during the fourth quarter.
Following are initial reactions of analysts and investors:
BRIDGET FREAS, ANALYST AT MORNINGSTAR IN CHICAGO:
The numbers came in a little bit higher than consensus. It's not terribly surprising. They've done a good job at improving margins and have cut overhead. Of course the better aluminum pricing was what drove the higher-than-expected earnings.
I think it's a good sign that they expect global growth up 12 percent this year. It's optimistic, but reasonable.
If this is sustainable, this is certainly going to be good year for Alcoa.
TONY ROBSON, BMO CAPITAL MARKETS-CANADA, TORONTO:
At 20 cents (EPS), even though it's a few pennies difference from the Street's consensus, I think the markets will be happy that Alcoa did manage to beat.
ALAN LANCZ, PRESIDENT, ALAN B. LANCZ & ASSOCIATES
It looks like it's above expectations, and I think that's exactly what the market is going to need to continue its momentum. You have to beat consensus expectations, and you have to guide higher as far as subsequent quarters. It looks like that might be the case ... it's a good first shot across the bow for the earnings season.
You can't really go by Alcoa (for the rest of the earnings season) ... it will be interesting to see if we get more of that.
(Reporting by Anna Driver in Houston, Braden Reddall in San Francisco and Ernest Scheyder and Caroline Valetkevitch in New York)