Alcoa Could Have Been Worse (AA)

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Alcoa (NYSE: AA) has come out with earnings and losses which are as dismal as a vacation in hell without any water and without any flame retardant.  But the good news is that this is a bit “less bad” than what was expected, or at least not as bad compared to estimates as some might have been expecting.  There was a loss of $480 million on a 27% sequential drop in revenue, with net numbers coming in at -$0.59 EPS from operations and $4.1 billion in revenues.

Thomson Reuters had estimates at -$0.57 EPS and $4.08 billion in revenues.  You have heard all of this before with the warnings.  Economic downturn, weak core industrial and commercial markets, historic decline in aluminum prices, and on….

Because of its recent capital raising and massive cost cutting measures, the company says it will emerge even stronger when the economy recovers.  Alcoa noted that since the third quarter of 2008 it has reduced the cost of producing alumina and aluminum by 33% and 30% and it sees its efforts having a significant impact on profitability and cash flow in 2009.

Alcoa shares closed down 1.5% at $7.79 today, and shares are back up to what would amount to a roughly flat close in after-hours at $7.88.  It’s a give and take.  The good news is that some were looking for far worse numbers.