Arconic Earnings Beat More Than Offset by Disappointing Guidance

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Arconic Inc. (NYSE: ARNC) reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2017 results before the opening bell Monday. The aluminum products manufacturer said adjusted earnings per share (EPS) totaled $0.31 on revenues of $3.3 billion for the quarter. In the same period last year, the company posted EPS of $0.12 and revenues of $2.97 billion. Analysts had forecast EPS of $0.24 and revenues of $3.09 billion.

For the full year, the company reported adjusted EPS of $1.22 per share and revenues of $13 billion compared to EPS of $0.98 a year ago on revenues of $12.39 billion. Analysts had been looking for EPS of $1.15 and revenues of $12.76 billion.

Arconic’s fiscal year 2018 guidance is sinking the share price this morning. The company forecast revenue in a range of $13.4 billion to $13.7 billion and adjusted EPS of $1.45 to $1.55. Analysts had estimated full-year EPS of $1.61 and revenues of $13.1 billion. The company also forecast free cash flow at approximately $500 million, below analysts’ expectations of $534 million.

CEO Chip Blankenship said:

In 2017, Arconic made progress on growing revenue and profits and taking out cost. However, a significant opportunity for improvement remains. Our challenge is to reinforce strengths, close gaps and identify new opportunities. My goal is to ensure that all of our businesses execute consistently and deliver outstanding returns for our shareholders. Arconic has foundational strengths and incredible potential. I am convinced that if we stay focused on four priorities – customers, people, operational excellence and technology – we will deliver on Arconic’s potential.

Arconic was separated from Alcoa in November 2016, when Alcoa changed its name to Arconic and Alcoa Corp. (NYSE: AA) began operating the former company’s bauxite, alumina, aluminum, cast and rolled products, and energy businesses. Arconic maintained a 19.9% stake in Alcoa Corp.

In an effort to sweeten the report for investors, Arconic set a new buyback program of up to $500 million and a second program for early debt reduction of another $500 million.

The stock traded down about 7% early Monday, at $27.06 in a 52-week range of $21.76 to $31.17. The 12-month consensus price target is $31.71.