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Century Aluminum (CENX) Earnings & Sales Beat Estimates in Q4

Zacks Equity Research

Century Aluminum Company CENX reported net loss of $65 million or 74 cents per share in fourth-quarter 2018, against net income of $35.8 million or 37 cents in the year-ago quarter.

Barring one-time items, adjusted loss came in at 43 cents per share in the quarter, which was narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 54 cents.

Revenues and Shipments

The company generated revenues worth $486.9 million in the fourth quarter, up around 12.2% year over year. The figure beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $478.1 million.

Shipments of primary aluminum were 199,466 tons, up 5.5% from 189,000 tons shipped in the year-ago quarter.  

Century Aluminum Company Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise


Century Aluminum Company Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Century Aluminum Company Quote


2018 Highlights

In 2018, adjusted loss totaled $13 million or 14 cents per share, against adjusted earnings of $34.7 million or 36 cents a year ago.

Net sales increased 19.1% year over year to $1,893.2 million. Total shipments inched up 0.9% year over year to 749,850 tons.


As of Dec 31, 2018, the company had cash and cash equivalents of $38.9 million, down 76.7% year over year. Net cash used in operating activities was $69.1 million during the year.


Per the company, the relationship between aluminum and alumina prices had negatively impacted its financial performance. Also, cash flows were affected by capital spending for the Hawesville restart project, which is on schedule for restart.

The company has concluded a two-year extension to the 75% market power-based contract at Mt. Holly. Century Aluminum is committed to achieve full market access, which will facilitate full production.

The company expects financial performance in the first quarter to be weighed by high realized alumina prices. Moreover, it anticipates EBITDA to be positive at spot prices and liquidity to remain strong starting second-quarter 2019. Additional production volume at Hawesville is expected to strengthen its financial position along with a reduction in the capital spending required for this project.

Price Performance

Century Aluminum’s shares have plunged 57.3% in the past year compared with the industry’s 26.9% decline.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Century Aluminum currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A few better-ranked stocks in the basic materials space include Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. KL, Ingevity Corporation NGVT and The Mosaic Company MOS. While Kirkland and Ingevity currently sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Mosaic carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Kirkland has an expected earnings growth rate of 20.9% for 2019. The company’s shares have surged 126.7% in the past year.

Ingevity has an expected earnings growth rate of 17.9% for 2019. The company’s shares have surged 47.3% in a year’s time.

Mosaic has an expected earnings growth rate of 23.5% for 2019. Its shares have rallied 20.8% in a year’s time.

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