Aluminum Giant Alcoa Posts Surprise Profit

Q3 income was $77 million compared to Q2 loss of $545 million

Alcoa on Oct. 7 swung to profit in the third quarter after three consecutive quarters of losses, in a positive start to the U.S. quarterly earnings reporting season.

The company said its net income was $77 million in the quarter ended September, compared with a net loss for the second quarter of $454 million.

Alcoa was the first company in the blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average index to announce results for the three months through September 30.

Revenues for the quarter were $4.6 billion compared with $4.2 billion in the second quarter, a 9% increase. "The financial and operational measures we took in the first half of the year are having a strong positive impact on our cash position and profitability," said Alcoa chief executive Klaus Kleinfeld.

"Despite unfavorable currency and energy headwinds, our performance this quarter indicates that Alcoa is weathering the economic storm and is in excellent shape to benefit when the market recovers," he said.

In the second half of 2009, there are signs that key markets the company operates in are stabilizing, it said.

"Due to low inventories at distributors and rising shipments, regional premiums are improving and global aluminum consumption is expected to increase 11% in the second half of 2009," the statement said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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