Alcoa Results Hurt by Weak Aluminum Prices – by Tess Stynes and John W. Miller (Wall Street Journal – April 11, 2016)

Alcoa Inc. said its first-quarter earnings fell 92%, hurt by weak aluminum prices, and said it could cut as many as 2,000 jobs. The metals maker’s lukewarm results Monday underscore the company’s motive in spinning off its more profitable aerospace and automotive-focused business in the second half of this year.

The company is in the process of spinning off its faster-growing business units into a separate company, to be named Arconic. Alcoa reiterated that the spinoff remains on track for completion in the second half of this year and noted that profit grew at those businesses in the first quarter.

“Profits grew in all of the Arconic segments, led by automotive and aerospace,” said Chief Executive Klaus Kleinfeld. And the raw aluminum segments, he noted, “maintained profitability in a persistently low pricing environment.”

Alcoa said its engineered products segment, which will be part of Arconic, cut 600 positions in the first quarter and plans to cut an additional 400 positions. The unit also is evaluating a further possible workforce cut of as many as 1,000 positions because of the weak markets.

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