This time its leadoff for the emerging recitation of results for the first quarter of 2010 represented a number of improvements. For the period, the company recorded a loss of $201 million, or $0.20 per share. Not good, but better when compared to a loss of $497 million, or $0.61 a share for the same quarter a year ago. And if you back out the $295 million in one-time charges -- versus $69 million in the March 2009 quarter -- Alcoa would have chalked up $0.10 per share in earnings for the latest quarter. And while the expectations were for revenues of $5.24 billion, rather than the actual $4.89 billion, the operating profit was right on target.
Looking at the individual segments, Alumina reported after-tax operating income (ATOI) of $72 million, up from just $19 million in the sequentially prior quarter. At the same time, Primary Metals checked in with ATOI of $123 million, fully $337 million higher sequentially. Flat-Rolled Products dipped $7 million to $30 million in ATOI compared to the previous quarter. And finally, despite lower sales, the Engineered Products and Solutions segment engineered a 42% ATOI increase.
So the Alcoa numbers showed enough improvement overall that I'm eagerly awaiting releases from its smaller cousins, Century Aluminum
As you know, aluminum finds its way into a variety of aerospace applications, among other things. Mr. Kleinfeld was quick to note that both Boeing
So my feeling is that Alcoa may be rounding the bend toward a meaningful strengthening. On that basis, and while there clearly remain economic questions to be answered in its sector, I'd suggest that Fools watch this big aluminum company very closely.