Alcoa profits jump

New York - Aluminum producer Alcoa Tuesday reported a jump in earnings on strong metals pricing and lower costs as it confirmed its outlook for seven-percent aluminum demand growth in 2014.

Alcoa, the first major company to report second-quarter earnings, said net income for the period ending June 30 was $138 million, up from a loss of $119 million in the year-ago stretch.

Revenues were $5.84 billion, down slightly from $5.85 billion.

Total costs fell from $5.98 billion a year ago to $5.63 billion.

“Our second quarter results prove Alcoa's transformation is in high gear,” said Alcoa chief executive Klaus Kleinfeld.

Kleinfeld pointed to moves to shutter low-return smelters and steer investment to “value-added” segments, such as light-weight aluminum for auto and aviation makers concerned about fuel efficiency.

The company reaffirmed key elements of its demand forecast.

Alcoa said it still sees 2014 global aerospace demand growth of 8-9 percent, automotive growth of 1-4 percent and packaging growth of 2-3 percent.

Alcoa bumped up its estimate for North American commercial transportation to a range of 10-14 percent from 5-9 percent, citing rising truck orders.

The results included one-time charges of $78 million to cut inefficient operations.

Alcoa closed two smelters in Brazil in the second quarter and plans to shutter another smelter in Australia in August.

The results translated into earnings of 18 cents per share, six cents better than expectations.

Alcoa shares rose 1.1 percent to $15.02 in after-hours trade. - Sapa-AFP