In the second quarter, sales held steady year over year at $5.8 billion. Adjusted earnings landed at $0.18 per diluted share, up from $0.07 per share in the year-ago period.
Analysts would have settled for earnings around $0.12 per share on something like $5.7 billion in total revenue. Alcoa exceeded both of these estimates.
The company enjoyed rising market prices on aluminum materials, strong sales into the energy and automotive markets, and generally high order volumes in the value-added downstream and midstream markets.
Looking ahead, Alcoa restated its previous projection of 8% to 9% growth in global aerospace orders for 2014. Low single-digit growth targets in the packaging and automotive sectors also remained unchanged, while gas turbine orders should fall about 10% year-over-year.
Alcoa raised its market estimate for North American commercial transportation from roughly 7% to 12%. Management pointed to large backlogs of unfilled orders for this market, as well as a steady rise in new truck orders.
"Our second quarter results prove Alcoa's transformation is in high gear," said Alcoa CEO Klaus Kleinfeld in a prepared statement. "Our strategy of building a lightweight multi-material innovation powerhouse and a highly competitive commodities business is driving compelling and sustainable shareholder value."