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Kaiser Aluminum Corporation Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2010 Financial Results

FOOTHILL RANCH, Calif., Feb. 21, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kaiser Aluminum Corporation (Nasdaq:KALU) today reported adjusted consolidated operating income for the full year ended December 31, 2010 of $65 million, an increase of $12 million or 23% compared to the prior year excluding non-run-rate items and the contribution from Anglesey smelting operations in 2009. The Fabricated Products segment reported adjusted operating income of $101 million, an increase of $14 million or 16% compared to the prior year ended December 31, 2009.
/ Source: GlobeNewswire

    FOOTHILL RANCH, Calif., Feb. 21, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kaiser Aluminum Corporation (Nasdaq:KALU) today reported adjusted consolidated operating income for the full year ended December 31, 2010 of $65 million, an increase of $12 million or 23% compared to the prior year excluding non-run-rate items and the contribution from Anglesey smelting operations in 2009. The Fabricated Products segment reported adjusted operating income of $101 million, an increase of $14 million or 16% compared to the prior year ended December 31, 2009.

    Full Year Summary

    "We are pleased with our financial results and operational accomplishments in 2010," said Jack A Hockema, President, CEO and Chairman. "Higher value added revenue and stronger shipments combined with improved manufacturing efficiencies drove strong earnings performance in a challenging economic environment."

    "We further enhanced our platform for top-line and bottom-line growth with the purchase of Alexco and Nichols Wire and the launch of our new world-class remelt and extrusion facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan," said Mr. Hockema. "In addition, we improved our capital structure and extended the five year labor agreement for our two largest facilities – Trentwood and Newark – through 2015, all in an effort to support our business and growth initiatives and further strengthen our competitive position. We are well positioned to continue capitalizing on the opportunities in our served markets in 2011 and beyond."

    The Company reported consolidated operating income of $12 million in the fourth quarter 2010, which was comparable to the third quarter 2010. Adjusted for non-run-rate items, consolidated operating income was $10 million for the fourth quarter 2010 compared to $14 million for the third quarter 2010, reflecting lower value added revenue in the Fabricated Products segment due to the impact of normal seasonality.

    Consolidated operating income as reported for the full year 2010 was $44 million compared to consolidated operating income of $119 million in 2009, reflecting significant non-cash, non-run-rate items, primarily related to mark-to-market gains and losses on the Company's derivative positions and a $14 million increase in the environmental accrual. Adjusted for non-run-rate items, consolidated operating income was up slightly to $65 million for the year ended December 31, 2010, compared to operating income of $63 million for the prior year period. Further adjusting for the contribution from Anglesey smelting operations in 2009, consolidated operating income increased $12 million or 23% year-over-year.

    For the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2010 the Company reported a net loss of $0.3 million and a loss per diluted share of $0.02, reflecting the impact of a valuation adjustment on state tax net operating losses which increased the effective tax rate in the quarter.

    The Company reported net income of $14 million for the full year 2010 compared to net income of $71 million for the full year 2009. Earnings per diluted share were $0.72 compared to $3.51 for the years ended December 31, 2010 and 2009, respectively. Full year 2010 earnings were negatively impacted by approximately $21 million of pre-tax, non-run-rate losses compared to pretax, non-run-rate gains of $56 million and the benefit of earnings from the Anglesey smelting operations in 2009. The year-over-year change in non-run-rate items is primarily related to significantly lower mark-to-market gains on derivative positions in 2010. Excluding these pre-tax, non-run-rate items, adjusted net income was $28 million and earnings per diluted share were $1.42 for the full year ended 2010, compared to adjusted net income of $36 million and earnings per diluted share of $1.74 in 2009.

    The Fabricated Products segment reported operating income of approximately $19 million in the fourth quarter 2010, a sequential increase from $5 million in the third quarter 2010. Operating income excluding non-run-rate items declined slightly in the fourth quarter due to seasonally lower shipments and value added revenue.

    For the full year ended December 31, 2010, Fabricated Products reported operating income of $79 million compared to $74 million for the prior year ended December 31, 2009. Excluding non-run-rate items, operating income increased to $101 million in 2010 compared to $87 million in the prior year driven by higher shipments and higher value added revenue across the Company's end market segment applications along with improved manufacturing efficiencies. Average realized prices were essentially flat year-over-year as higher underlying metal prices were offset by lower value added revenue per pound due to a shift toward a leaner mix and slightly lower prices.

    Corporate Highlights

    During the year the Company further strengthened its financial position generating solid operating cash flow that funded continued capital investment, normal quarterly dividends and a moderate increase in working capital to support growth. In addition, the Company's new capital structure served to extend maturities, diversify funding sources, enhance liquidity and secure additional financial flexibility. Net cash proceeds from the debt financing funded the repurchase of approximately 1.2 million shares of the Company's stock as well as the Company's two acquisitions.

    At December 31, 2010, total cash and borrowing availability under the revolving credit facility exceeded $304 million. Approximately $82 million of cash was subsequently utilized to fund the purchase of the Alexco assets in early January 2011.

    Expected capital spending in 2011 of approximately $35-$45 million includes maintenance expenditures and continued investment for quality, operating efficiency and debottlenecking throughout the Company's operations. Depreciation and amortization is expected to approximate $24 million in 2011 including assets placed in service and intangibles associated with the Alexco and Nichols Wire acquisitions.

    Outlook

    "We continue to be very optimistic about the prospects for aerospace and high strength applications in 2011 and beyond. We anticipate our value added revenue for aerospace and high strength applications over the next six months will be higher than the pace set during the first six months of 2010 reflecting the impact of our strategic acquisitions and increasing demand for our products," said Mr. Hockema. "We also anticipate that slowly improving underlying demand, continued growth in automotive extrusion programs and the benefit from our acquisitions and investment in Kalamazoo will drive higher value added revenue for general engineering, automotive and other industrial applications in the first half of 2011 compared to the prior year period." 

    "Longer term, the fundamentals for our business remain solid. The Kalamazoo investment enhances our positioning as a low-cost producer and provides capacity to support continuing growth in aluminum automotive extrusions for more fuel-efficient vehicles. Completion of the Kalamazoo facility, along with the recent acquisition of the Alexco and Nichols Wire assets, further strengthens our platform of focused facilities positioned as low-cost producers and suppliers of choice for aerospace and defense, general engineering and automotive applications. In summary, we are well positioned in attractive, growing markets, and with a stronger financial and competitive profile we have excellent prospects for profitable growth in 2011 and in future years," concluded Mr. Hockema.

    Conference Call

    Kaiser Aluminum Corporation will host a conference call on February 22, 2011, at 10:00am (Pacific Time); 12:00pm (Central Time); 1:00pm (Eastern Time), to discuss fourth quarter and full year 2010 results. To participate, the conference call can be directly accessed from the U.S. and Canada at (800) 289-0573, and accessed internationally at (913) 312-0950. A link to the simultaneous web cast can be accessed on the Company's website at . A copy of a presentation will be available for download prior to the start of the call. An audio archive will be available on the Company's website following the call.

    Company Description

    Kaiser Aluminum Corporation, headquartered in Foothill Ranch, Calif., is a leading producer of semi-fabricated specialty aluminum products, serving customers worldwide with highly-engineered solutions for aerospace and high-strength, general engineering, and custom automotive and industrial applications. The Company's North American facilities produce value-added sheet, plate, extrusions, rod, bar, tube and wire products, adhering to traditions of quality, innovation and service that have been key components of our culture since the Company was founded in 1946. The Company's stock is included in the Russell 2000® index and the S&P SmallCap 600® index.

    The Kaiser Aluminum Corporation logo is available at

    Available Information

    For more information, please visit the Company's web site at www.kaiseraluminum.com. The web site includes a section for investor relations under which the Company provides notifications of news or announcements regarding its financial performance, including Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, investor events, and earnings and other press releases. In addition, all Company filings submitted to the SEC are available through a link to the section of the SEC's web site at  which includes: Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and Proxy Statements for the Company's annual stockholders' meetings and other information statements as filed with the SEC. In addition, the Company provides a webcast of its quarterly earnings calls and certain events in which management participates or hosts with members of the investment community.

    Non-GAAP Financial Measures

    This earnings release contains certain non-GAAP financial measures. A "non-GAAP financial measure" is defined as a numerical measure of a company's financial performance that excludes or includes amounts so as to be different than the most directly comparable measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP in the statements of income, balance sheets or statements of cash flow of the company. Pursuant to the requirements of Regulation G, the Company has provided a reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable financial measure in the accompanying tables.

    The non-GAAP financial measures used within this earnings release are operating profit, net income and earnings per diluted share, excluding non-run-rate and non-operating gains and losses. These measures are presented because management uses this information to monitor and evaluate financial results and trends and believes this information to also be useful for investors.

    This press release contains statements based on management's current expectations, estimates and projections that constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 involving known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied. Kaiser Aluminum cautions that such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or events and involve significant risks and uncertainties and actual events may vary materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors. These factors include: (a) material adverse changes in economic or industry conditions generally, including global financial markets; (b) our inability to achieve the level of growth or other benefits anticipated by management, including those anticipated from our acquisitions and other strategic investments and the integration of acquired businesses; (c) increases in our costs, including the cost of energy, raw materials and freight costs, which we are unable to pass through to our customers; (d) pressure to reduce defense spending and demand for the Company's products used in defense applications as the U.S. and other governments are faced with competing national priorities; (e) changes in the markets served by the Company, including aerospace, defense, general engineering, automotive, distribution and other markets, including changes impacting the volume, price or mix of products sold by the Company and the Company's ability to flex production consistent with changing demand levels; (f) the Company's ability to lower energy costs, realize manufacturing efficiencies and complete its expansion and organic growth projects, equipment and facility upgrades to improve manufacturing and cost efficiencies and product expansions as planned and by targeted completion dates; (g) unfavorable changes in laws or regulations that impact our operations and results; (h) the outcome of contingencies, including legal proceedings, government investigations and environmental remediation and (i) other risk factors summarized in the Company's reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010. As more fully described in these reports, "non-run-rate" items are items that, while they may occur from period to period, are particularly material to results, impact costs primarily as a result of external market factors and may not occur in future periods if the same level of underlying performance were to occur. All information in this release is as of the date of the release. The Company undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statement to conform the statement to actual results or changes in the Company's expectations.

    Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Measures - 2010

    The following table presents a reconciliation of non-GAAP measures presented in the earnings release for the year ended December 31, 2010:

    Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Measures – 2009

    The following table presents a reconciliation of non-GAAP measures presented in the earnings release for the year ended December 31, 2009:

    CONTACT: Investor Relations Contact: Melinda C. Ellsworth Kaiser Aluminum (949) 614-1757 Public Relations Contact: Dave Quast Financial Dynamics (646) 421-5341