From AFX News Limited
NEW YORK — Alcoa Inc. was downgraded to “neutral” from “overweight” by J.P. Morgan, and removed from the firm’s “focus list,” due to concerns that rising costs, negative currency implications and sluggish demand from automotive and building materials markets will offset higher aluminum prices and lead to another earnings shortfall. The stock, a component of the Dow industrials, fell 56 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $31.75 in Instinet pre-open trading. Analyst Michael Gambardella also lowered his fourth-quarter earnings estimate to 34 cents a share from 39 cents and his 2005 earnings forecast to $1.80 a share from $2.70.
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