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Century Aluminum (CENX) Earnings & Sales Lag Estimates in Q3

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Century Aluminum Company CENX recorded a net loss of $20.7 million or 23 cents per share in third-quarter 2019 compared with a loss of $20.3 million or 23 cents in the year-ago quarter.

Barring one-time items, adjusted loss was 39 cents per share, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 27 cents.

Century Aluminum Company Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise


Century Aluminum Company Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Century Aluminum Company price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Century Aluminum Company Quote


Revenues and Shipments  

The company logged revenues of $438 million in the quarter, down around 9.1% year over year. The downside was caused by lower London Metal Exchange (LME) aluminum prices. The figure also missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $442.9 million.

Shipments of primary aluminum totaled 198,543 tons in the third quarter, up around 8.5% year over year. On a sequential-comparison basis, shipment fell 2.4% due to weaker-than-expected production at the Hawesville plant.


At the end of the quarter, the company had cash and cash equivalents of $22.5 million, down around 69.3% year over year. Net cash used in operating activities was $59 million for the first nine months of 2019.


Per the company, external environment remains complex. Century Aluminum witnessed sluggish growth in many of the customers’ markets, which caused the decline in product premiums. However, relatively low inventory levels as well as global demand-supply balance is consistent with a healthy market. Also, alumina prices have returned to more normalized levels.

The Hawesville plant is expected to return to full production in 2020. Notably, the three newly rebuilt potlines are fully operational. The company hopes to extend the life of the last potline to be refurbished later in 2019.

Century Aluminum disconnected one of the two operating lines earlier this year. Rebuilding is on schedule and the cells are expected to restart in January 2020. Also, the line is expected to return at full production by the end of first-quarter 2020.

Price Performance

Century Aluminum’s shares have lost 10.6% in the past year against the industry’s 0.1% rise.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Century Aluminum currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Some better-ranked stocks in the industrial products space are Sharps Compliance Corp SMED, Tennant Company TNC and Casella Waste Systems, Inc (CWST - Free Report) . While Sharps Compliance and Tennant currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Casella Waste Systems carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Sharps Compliance has an expected earnings growth rate of 500% for the current fiscal year. The company’s shares have gained 13.3% in the past year.

Tennant has projected earnings growth rate of 29.8% for 2019. The company’s shares have rallied 24.1% in a year.

Casella Waste Systems has an estimated earnings growth rate of 39.3% for the current year. The company's shares have moved up 30.4% in the past year.

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