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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Alcoa Inc posted a narrower fourth-quarter loss as aluminum prices inched up and the manufacturing industry showed signs of recovering.
The net loss of $277 million, or 28 cents per share, compared with a loss of $1.19 billion, or $1.49 per share, a year earlier. The operating loss was $266 million, or 27 cents per share. Revenue fell to $5.43 billion from $5.68 billion but was up 18 percent from the third quarter.
STEPHEN MASSOCCA, MANAGING DIRECTOR, WEDBUSH MORGAN, SAN FRANCISCO
"The topline numbers are significantly better than expected but the bottomline numbers are worse than expected...The market seems to be taking the miss in operating numbers more seriously. That is what's dragging the market."
BRIAN HICKS, CO-MANAGER, U.S. GLOBAL INVESTORS GLOBAL RESOURCES FUND, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS
"The headline number is a little bit disappointing, but as you dig in a little bit deeper it looks as though there is some improvement. It looks like the company is on track to meet many of their (financial) objectives."
MARC PADO, U.S. MARKET STRATEGIST, CANTOR FITZGERALD & CO, SAN FRANCISCO
"They comment on lower corporate costs, and I think that's a theme. One of the reasons we've not seen a big snapback on jobs is companies are finding they don't need as many workers.
The market should take this number as a positive because you're talking about a company that was under pressure, and they were able to extract more profit."
"It was a bit surprising that they broke even excluding the 28-cent charges. They say they had special charges, and if you take that out they nearly broke even including discontinued operations.
"It appears that costs rose faster than prices. Or that some of the cost gains in the first half of 2009 were due to exogenous factors like currency shifts, lower energy prices, lower metal prices and now some of those exogenous factors are going against them while the metal price is going for them."
Reporting by Angela Moon, Caroline Valetkevitch, Carol Vaporean, Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Ted Kerr