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Alcoa Fastening Systems (AFS), a unit of Alcoa Inc. (AA - Analyst Report), has announced that it has signed a strategic agreement with Chinese passenger aircraft manufacturer Commercial Aircraft of China Ltd. (COMAC).

The agreement will strengthen Alcoa’s presence in China, the world’s fastest growing aerospace markets, and also deepen its existing relationship with COMAC. AFS will provide technical assistance in fastener and assembly tooling selection, joint design consideration and quality system management to COMAC for development and production of its commercial C919 aircraft. COMAC will purchase a significant portion of its fasteners from AFS for the initial production of the C919 aircraft.

Alcoa Fastening Systems serves the global aerospace, automotive and commercial transportation markets with the most specialized engineering, highest quality, and the greatest breadth and depth of fastening system solutions in the industry.

Alcoa released its fourth-quarter 2012 results on Jan 8. The company swung to profit in the quarter, buoyed by one-time gains. It posted a profit (from continuing operation) of $242 million or 21 cents per share in the fourth quarter compared with a loss of $193 million or 18 cents a share reported in the year-ago quarter. The results were boosted by a gain of $178 million ($161 million post-tax) associated with a hydroelectric project asset sale.

Excluding one-time special items, Alcoa earned $64 million or 6 cents a share in the quarter, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The company’s midstream and downstream businesses delivered profits and its cost-cutting measures also supported the results.

Revenues decreased 1.5% year over year to $5,898 million in the fourth quarter, but were ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $5,579 million.

Alcoa expects global aluminum demand to grow 7% in 2013, up from 6% in 2012. It currently retains a short-term Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Other companies in the mining industry with favorable Zacks Ranks are Aluminum Corporation Of China Limited , Atlatsa Resources Corporation (ATL - Snapshot Report) and BHP Biliton Plc. (BBL - Snapshot Report) with all of them carring a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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