Alcoa earnings: Another bad quarter, but reason to hope

Amid dropping demand and falling prices, Alcoa just announced its second consecutive quarterly loss. At a drop of 59 cents per share, it did slightly worse than analyst predictions of between 52 and 58 cents per share. However, its revenues of $4.15 billion were significantly higher than the $4 billion that most analysts predicted.

Today's news, while undoubtedly painful, is hardly surprising. The aluminum giant has already embarked on what it refers to as a "Holistic program to re-position balance sheet and restore operational costs." Basically, this has translated into slashing costs, lowering the debt-to-capital ratio, reducing dividends, increasing cash on hand, and raising money with an equity and convertible notes offering.