Alcoa Inc released its fourth quarter earnings report after closing bell tonight, making the unofficial kickoff of the reporting season. The aluminum manufacturer reported 4 cents per share in earnings or $65 million, excluding items, and $5.245 billion in revenue. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 2 cents per share and $5.29 billion in revenue.
Alcoa’s reported loss widens
The company posted a net loss of 39 cents per share or $500 million, compared to last year’s loss of 45 cents per share. Alcoa said a 25% decline from lower alumina and aluminum prices, divestures and closures more than offset a 7% year over year increase in revenue from aerospace and acquisitions.
The aluminum manufacturer reported $3.3 billion in revenue from its Value-Add businesses, $215 million in after-tax operating income, and $448 million in adjusted EBITDA. The Global Rolled Products business recorded $52 million in after-tax operating income and an 18% increase in auto sheet shipments. The segment also saw a revenue mix shift toward products with higher margins, which resulted in a 19% year over year increase in adjusted EBITDA per metric ton.
The Engineered Products and Solutions segment racked up record revenue of $1.4 billion and $123 million in after-tax operating income. Aerospace revenue grew 34% year over year, and Alcoa reported that it won three big multi-year aerospace contracts during the quarter and had about $9 billion in contracts in 2015, which was double the amount of the year before. The Transportation and Construction Solutions business saw $40 million in after-tax operating income and an adjusted EBITDA margin of 14.6%, which was a new record for the fourth quarter.
Alcoa’s upstream businesses recorded $2.4 billion in sales, $58 million in after-tax operating income, and $239 million in adjusted EBITDA. They were hit by a 24% sequential price decline in alumina and a 1% sequential decline in aluminum prices. For the full year, alumina prices plunged 43%, while aluminum prices declined 28%.
Alcoa’s predictions for 2016
The company expects this year to be better, however, with management predicting a 6% year over year increase in global aluminum demand. They expect this year’s global aerospace sales to increase by 8% to 9% from last year due to strong demand for commercial aircraft and jet engines. For automotive, Alcoa expects 1% to 4% production demand, while for the heavy duty truck and trailer market, it expects global production to be between a decline of 3% and growth of 1%.
Global building and construction sales are expected to improve by 4% to 6% this year. Alcoa is projecting a 2% to 4% increase in the industrial gas turbine market and continued improvements in the airfoil market.
Also this year, the company expects an aluminum deficit of 1.2 million metric tons and an alumina deficit of 2.8 million tons as a result of global curtailments. Alcoa expects global aluminum demand to reach a new record of 60.5 million tons this year, a 6% increase from 2015. Between 2010 and 2020, aluminum demand is expected to double, but so far this decade, the growth is tracking ahead of that projection.
The aluminum manufacturer also provided an update on its plans to separate into two public companies. Management expects the transaction to separate the Value-Add and Upstream businesses to be completed in the second half of this year.