Alcoa kicks of toughest U.S. earnings season for years

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Aluminium producer, Alcoa, kicked off the U.S. third quarter earnings season after the market close last night. The numbers coming of America’s leading companies will be closely watched over coming weeks with expectations of the first quarter on quarter profit declines in aggregate for 3 years. The fear is that analysts have been over optimistic in estimating Q3 earnings, potentially leading to disappointment ahead and hence pressurrising the Dow and S&P 500 as the numbers come in.

Alcoa beat expectations on profit and sales making it a good start. It made a loss in the 3rd quarter of $143 million, or 13 cents a share a share, due to legal charges. Excluding charges, it made 3 cents a share, ahead of expectations of a break even, but down on the 15 cents a share in Q3 2011. Sales fell 8% to $5.8 billion due to lower metal prices, but better than the $5.56 billion estimated by analysts. 

They’ll be plenty for investors to digest on the health of the U.S. and global economy in coming weeks.

Contrarian Investor UK

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