What: Shares of Century Aluminum Co (NASDAQ:CENX) plunged as much as 26% today after it reported worse-than-expected earnings.

So what: Third-quarter revenue fell 9% to $454.5 million as a result of lower aluminum prices. The company swung from a net profit of $50.4 million a year ago to a loss of $56.1 million, or $0.65 per share.  

On an adjusted basis, which takes out one-time items and is what analysts usually compare to, the loss was $0.48 per share, which was still worse than the $0.26 loss analysts expected.

Now what: As is the case with much of the metals industry today, management blamed China for the company's problems. What's they're claiming is that illegal and subsidized exports of Chinese aluminum are offsetting what could otherwise be a strong environment for aluminum producers. Until that uncertainty is resolved and there's a long-term solution to the global aluminum supply glut, I don't see any reason to jump into Century Aluminum's shares today.

Travis Hoium has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.