What happened 

Shares of Allegheny Technologies (NYSE:ATI) jumped as much as 13.3% in trading Thursday after the company reported third-quarter financial results. The stock was up 12.8% at 12:20 p.m. EDT and bouncing near new highs for the day. 

So what

Quarterly revenue was $598 million, but Allegheny Technologies lost $50.1 million, or $0.40 per share, as commercial aerospace demand weakened due to COVID-19. Management highlighted that cash stood at $572 million at the end of the quarter with $950 million of total liquidity.

Two fighter jets flying near each other.

Image source: Getty Images.

On a segment level, high-performance materials and components saw revenue fall 51% to $221.3 million and advanced alloys and solutions sales were down 34% to $376.7 million. 

The declines didn't seem to matter much because investors were expecting worse. Analysts had estimated $631.1 million in revenue and a $0.60 loss per share, so the fact that the bottom line wasn't that bad pleased investors today. 

Now what

Management said it expects modest improvements in the commercial aerospace market in 2021, but the reality is that air travel may be down for some time. Not only will the pandemic hurt demand, but airlines may not be able to invest in new aircraft even when demand starts to pick up. This may be a nice pop in Allegheny Technologies' shares, but the future is still very uncertain for the company's end markets.  

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