Why Century Aluminum Co.'s Shares Popped 25% Today

A small earnings beat had investors excited about Century Aluminum Co. today.

Travis Hoium
Travis Hoium
Feb 19, 2016 at 12:54PM
Energy, Materials, and Utilities

What: Shares of Century Aluminum Co. (NASDAQ:CENX) jumped 25% today after reporting fourth-quarter 2015 results.

So what: Revenue dropped 30% to $383.9 million and the company swung from a $75.8 million profit to a $43.1 million loss, or $0.50 per share. Adjusted net loss, which pulls out one-time items, was a bit worse at $0.53 per share, but came in a penny ahead of estimates. That's what had investors so excited today.  

Now what: Despite the decline in results, investors are betting that we're seeing a bottom in the metals market. Management at Century Aluminum and its competitors continue to push for sanctions on what they feel is Chinese dumping of aluminum products.

Betting on a recovery is risky given the large losses being reported. I'd like to see a financial turnaround before jumping in because we really don't know how bad the metals market will get.