Shares of Alcoa Inc. rose more than 4 percent Friday, a day after the aluminum producer kicked off earnings season with better-than-expected third-quarter results.
In early trading on the New York Stock Exchange, the stock was up 4.6 percent at $12.76.
Anthony Rizzuto, managing director of Dahlman Rose & Co., maintained his full-year 2010 and 2011 earnings targets for Alcoa and initiated a fourth-quarter estimate of 17 cents per share. Analysts currently expect Alcoa to earn 16 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
"We believe that management has done a good of job of cutting costs and strengthening the balance sheet, positioning the company for improved results should the price of aluminum improve," Rizzuto wrote in a research note.
"While we acknowledge the improvements that have occurred under this management team, we would continue to view the shares as a trading vehicle to capture volatility in aluminum prices, and we maintain our 'hold' rating on the shares."
Leo Larkin, a metals analyst with Standard & Poor's Equity Research, maintained his "buy" recommendation on Alcoa shares, although the third-quarter profit was shy of his estimate.
He reduced his 2010 estimate to 43 cents per share from 54 cents, "to account for the Q3 shortfall and a more conservative margin assumption for Q4."
He maintained his 2011 estimate and 12-month share target price of $16.
"We view Alcoa as a special situation turnaround and a vehicle that should benefit from better aluminum industry fundamentals," Larkin wrote in a research note.
UBS raised Alcoa's price target to $13.25 from $12, with a "neutral" investment rating.
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