Alcoa generates losses, but predicts improved demand

Alcoa Corp.

AA -0.93%

recorded a loss in the fourth quarter as sales fell 27%, but the aluminum manufacturer expects demand for the metal to rebound this year.

The company also said Wednesday that global demand for aluminum will likely increase in a range of 1.4% to 2.4% this year. That would be an improvement compared to last year, when Alcoa believes that demand fell.

With exposure to car manufacturers, beverage can manufacturers and a large number of other manufacturers, Alcoa is considered a benchmark. The company had problems in 2019 amid commercial battles, weaker industrial activity in some markets and an expected slowdown in overall global economic growth.

The International Monetary Fund said in October that it expects the global economy to expand 3.4% this year, above an expected gain of 3% for last year. On Wednesday, US officials UU. And China signed the first phase of a trade agreement that aims to ease trade-related tensions between countries.

Alcoa reported a loss attributable to the company of $ 303 million, or $ 1.63 per share, for the fourth quarter, compared to a profit of $ 51 million, or 27 cents per share, a year earlier. The company has now recorded losses in five of the last six quarters, according to FactSet.

Their adjusted loss of 31 cents per share was 10 cents per share worse than analysts had forecast.

Sales also failed analysts’ forecasts, falling to $ 2.44 billion, as lower prices for aluminum and alumina weighed in the results. Producers refine a bauxite oxide to create alumina, which is converted into aluminum metal in foundries.

Prices for aluminum fell 13% year-over-year, while alumina prices fell 39%.

Shares in Alcoa were lower in after-hours operations.

In October, the company said it planned to sell up to $ 1 billion in assets and would consider closing facilities to reduce costs and move towards profitable growth.

Alcoa said earlier this month that it would sell a waste treatment facility in Arkansas to Veolia ES Technical Solutions for up to $ 250 million. In December, he said he would permanently close an alumina refinery in Texas.

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