Earnings: Alcoa, Genentech

Earnings: Alcoa | Genentech

Alcoa Profit Nearly Doubles, But Disappoints

NEW YORK - Alcoa Inc. (AA) said on Tuesday its third-quarter profit almost doubled as revenue increased, but results lagged estimates on weakness in the automotive and home-building sectors.

Net earnings were $537 million, or 61 cents per share, compared with $289 million, or 33 cents per share in the same quarter last year, the Pittsburgh-based company said.

Alcoa, the world's largest aluminum producer, said revenue was $7.63 billion — up 19 percent from $6.40 billion last year. Aluminum prices, although higher than last year, were 6 percent lower than the previous quarter.

Analysts on average were expecting 77 cents per share and revenue of $7.68 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

"In July, we said the third quarter would be solid, but would reflect the traditional seasonal slowdown and lower metal prices," said Chief Executive Officer Alain Belda.

"While the North American automotive and the housing construction markets are softening, most of our downstream markets continue to be strong — especially aerospace and commercial transportation," Belda added.

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Genentech Posts Better-Than-Expected 3Q Profit

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Genentech Inc. (DNA) on Tuesday reported better-than-expected third-quarter profit as demand for its cancer drugs remained strong and sales of its new drug to treat the leading cause of blindness in the elderly far exceeded predictions.

Lucentis, which is quickly being adopted as the first treatment option for age-related macular degeneration, had sales of $153 million, while Wall Street was looking for $32 million to $40 million.

Excluding items, the world's second-largest biotechnology company earned 59 cents per share. Analysts on average expected 47 cents per share, including 4 cents per share of stock options expense, according to Reuters Estimates.

Genentech also said it now expects growth of 65 percent to 70 percent in full-year earnings per share excluding items, up from its prior forecast of 55 percent to 60 percent growth.

The South San Francisco, California-based company posted a net profit of $568 million, or 53 cents per share, compared with a profit of $359 million, or 33 cents per share, a year earlier.

Avastin, considered Genentech's most important growth driver and the product most closely watched by Wall Street, saw U.S. sales rise 34 percent to $435 million for the quarter.

Analysts had been looking for Avastin sales of about $459 million.

Operating revenue for the quarter rose 36 percent to $2.38 billion, led by $509 million in U.S. sales of Rituxan for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis, a 12 percent rise from the year-ago quarter.

Sales of breast cancer drug Herceptin jumped 40 percent to $302 million.

Shares ofGenentech, which is majority owned by Roche Holding AG, are down about 7 percent this year, lagging behind the broader American Stock Exchange Biotech Index, which is up about 4.6 percent for the year.

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