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Alcoa swings to Q3 profit on higher aluminum prices, shipments

Alcoa Corp. said Oct. 18 that it swung to an attributable net income of US$113 million in the third quarter from an attributable net loss of US$10 million in the year-ago period.

This compares with second-quarter net income of US$75 million.

Revenue in the period rose to US$2.96 billion, from US$2.33 billion a year earlier, and 4% higher from the previous quarter.

The company attributed the positive results to improved pricing in the aluminum business segment and higher shipments of aluminum and bauxite.

Adjusted EBITDA in the quarter rose to US$561 million from US$284 million in the same quarter of 2016, and up 16% from the second quarter.

Based on higher alumina and aluminum prices, Alcoa lifted full-year adjusted EBITDA outlook to around US$2.4 billion, up from the second quarter's estimate of between US$2.1 billion and US$2.2 billion.

Alcoa ended the quarter with cash on hand of US$1.1 billion with US$1.4 billion of debt. Year-to-date capital expenditures now total US$255 million, with third quarter spending coming at US$96 million.

Alcoa revised its 2017 forecast for aluminum demand growth to between 5.0% and 5.5% from between 4.75% and 5.25% previously, mainly due to higher demand forecast in China.

Earlier in the month, Alcoa reported the termination of a power contract tied to the curtailed Rockdale smelter in Texas. The termination, which included a lump-sum payment of US$237.5 million, is expected to result in an annual improvement to net income and adjusted EBITDA of US$60 million to US$70 million, beginning in the fourth quarter.