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Investors were eagerly awaiting Alcoa’s (AA - Free Analyst Report) second-quarter results, and the leading aluminum producer did not disappoint. Per-share profits came in at $0.13, compared with a deficit of $0.32 in the same period a year earlier. The much-improved results partly reflected increased demand from certain end markets, including commercial transportation and aerospace. Management's restructuring initiatives also helped, to a certain extent. If generally favorable business trends continue during the rest of this year, the company stands to generate 2010 share net of $0.50, versus a per-share loss of $1.06 in 2009.

We are upbeat about Alcoa's prospects out to mid-decade (assuming that aluminum prices cooperate, of course). That is partly because as more third-world nations undergo industrialization, demand for the lightweight metal ought to rise at a decent rate. Furthermore, acquisitions (made possible by adequate finances) should aid the company's expansion.

About The Company:  Alcoa Inc., a Pennsylvania corporation, is a global leader in the production and management of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum, and alumina combined.  It supplies the aerospace, automotive, building and construction, commercial transportation, and industrial markets.  It has more than 300 operating and sales locations in over 35 countries.  Sales of aluminum and alumina account for more than three-fourths of Alcoa’s total revenues.  It also produces nonaluminum products, such as precision castings and fasteners for the aerospace and industrial markets.  Alcoa’s operations consist of four worldwide reportable segments: Alumina, Primary Metals, Flat-Rolled Products, and Engineered Products and Solutions.