BOTTOM LINE: Alcoa Inc. was dragged to a $2.34 billion loss in the fourth quarter on big write-downs for old acquisitions of smelting operations and other one-time items. Low aluminum prices also hurt. A year earlier, the company earned $242 million.
MIXED VERDICT: Excluding special items, the company said it would have earned 4 cents per share. That was below the 6 cents that analysts expected, but revenue was higher than Wall Street forecast.
2014 OUTLOOK: Alcoa predicts that use in commercial airliners, autos and commercial construction will fuel a 7 percent increase in aluminum consumption this year. Much of the demand will come from China, with help from recovering economies in the U.S. and Europe, company officials said.