Alcoa posts better-than-expected 3rd-quarter earnings

Completion of $300 million automotive expansion of Davenport Works plant expected soon

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Alcoa, which operates its largest aluminum rolling mill in Eastern Iowa, kicked off  the third-quarter earnings season with a profit that beat analysts' expectations.

The New York-based aluminum maker posted adjusted net income of $120 million, or 11 cents per share, for the quarter that ended on Sept. 30, compared with adjusted earnings of $32 million, or 3 cents per share, in the same period last year.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson-Reuters were expecting Alcoa to report an adjusted profit of 5 cents per share.

On a non-adjusted basis, Alcoa earned $24 million, or 2 cents per share, in the third quarter, compared with a loss of $143 million, or 13 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2012.

Third-quarter revenue totaled $5.8 billion, virtually unchanged from the same quarter of 2012. The figure surprised analysts, given that aluminum prices have fallen 7 percent over the last year.

Alcoa attributed the higher earnings and revenue to continued strength in the company's engineered products and solutions and global rolled products business segments. The value-added businesses accounted for 57 percent of total revenues and 79 percent of segment after-tax operating income.

Alcoa said it expects to complete the $300 million automotive expansion of its Davenport Works plant by the end of 2013. The company said the equipment commissioning process is already underway.

The plant also manufactures wing surfaces for airplanes produced by Airbus and Boeing.

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