Alcoa Inc. said its second-quarter earnings rose 1.4% as weak aluminum prices hurt results at its smelting operations.
However, the company continued to benefit from growth at its expanded operations that make products for the automotive and aerospace markets, and Aetna said it continues to project steady growth in 2015 across the majority of its end markets.
Shares rose 0.8% to $10.58 in recent after-hours trading as the company’s revenue topped expectations. Through Wednesday’s close, the stock has dropped by more than a third this year.
The New York-based company, the world’s biggest aluminum company by volume, has faced challenges from weak aluminum prices and has responded with efforts to rein in costs by closing smelters with relatively high expenses, including the recent shuttering of its Pocos de Caldas smelter in Brazil.
The smelting division, reported operating earnings fell 31% in the June quarter to $67 million amid lower aluminum prices.
Alcoa also has increased its focus on finished product for growth markets such as automotive and aerospace. The strategy is reflected in the company’s purchase last year of U.K. jet-engine parts maker Firth Rixson Ltd. and its deal this year for Pittsburgh-based RTI International Metals Inc., one of the world’s biggest makers of fabricated titanium products for the aerospace industry.
Overall, for the second quarter, Alcoa’s profit rose to $140 million from $138 million a year earlier. Per-share earnings fell to 10 cents from 12 cents amid an increase in shares outstanding.
Excluding charges related to restructuring, acquisitions and other items, per-share earnings rose to 19 cents from 18 cents. Revenue increased 1% to $5.9 billion.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected per-share profit of 22 cents and revenue of $5.81 billion.
The global rolled products division, which makes sheet for the auto and beverage can industries, reported operating earnings increased 9% to $76 million, led by growth in automotive sheet shipments.
The engineered products business reported operating earnings grew 4% to $210 million with a boost from acquisitions and higher volumes.