Profit doubles at Kaiser Aluminum

From Times Wire Services

Kaiser Aluminum Corp. said its first-quarter profit more than doubled, but its stock fell more than 10% after the company forecast lower production than anticipated this year.

"We are not market-constrained, we are production-constrained this year," Chairman and Chief Executive Jack Hockema said.

He said there was a short, unplanned outage at a light-gauge furnace during the first quarter. In addition, a planned four-month shutdown for maintenance at another furnace in Spokane, Wash., starting in June, would lower the output of heat-treated plate, a high-strength aluminum product used primarily in the aerospace industry.

The Foothill Ranch-based company reported first-quarter earnings of $39.1 million, or $1.92 a share, compared with $17.1 million, or 85 cents, a year earlier. Sales rose 2% to $399 million.

Kaiser Aluminum shares fell $7.85 after the earnings announcement to $66.09. But some analysts attributed the decline not only to the lowered outlook but also to a correction after investors had driven up the stock on Wednesday on a TV analyst's favorable forecast.

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