Alcoa -6.3% after dismal Q4 report but Kleinfeld remains ebullient

|By:, SA News Editor

Alcoa (AA -6.3%) is sharply weaker in early trading after missing Q4 earnings expectations, lackluster Q1 guidance and the prospect of continued weak aluminum prices; the big writedown of smelting capacity underscores the challenges Alcoa faces with the older and higher cost parts of its smelting system.

Shares had jumped more than 30% in the three months prior to the report, possibly rallying too far too fast and setting up a downturn.

However, CEO Klaus Kleinfeld was ebullient last night on CNBC, noting that both Alcoa's commodity and value-add businesses continue to grow, the company has been aggressive in cutting costs, and the overseas bribery scandal is finally behind it.

Kleinfeld says the aerospace segment is performing well, autos are looking good, and signs point to a pickup in commercial construction; China is slowing but its growth rate remains very healthy.