reported sharply higher sales for the third quarter, propped up by higher aluminum and alumina prices.
The aluminum maker said sales increased 31% to $3.11 billion, from $2.37 billion in the year-earlier quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimate of $2.93 billion.
Shipments of aluminum slipped 6% from last year and the previous quarter in part because of a lack of railcars and the completion of accumulated inventory sales at one of its smelters.
Average aluminum prices reached $3,124 for each metric ton for the metal in the quarter, a 13% increase from the second quarter. Average alumina prices increased 11% to $312.
The company has experienced higher demand for aluminum products, used in commercial construction, automotive manufacturing and other industries, as end users in some of its key markets recovered from last year.
Alcoa, which also sells the raw materials to make aluminum, continues to see inflationary pressure on raw materials and energy. Costs rose 14% from the year-earlier quarter to $2.32 billion.
Alcoa said net income attributable to the company was $337 million, swinging from a year-earlier loss of $49 million. Per-share earnings amounted to $1.76, compared with a per-share loss of 26 cents a year earlier.
Alcoa’s adjusted profit was $2.05 a share, pulling ahead of analysts’ expectations of $1.76 a share for that metric.
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