Alcoa Earnings Preview: Your Cheat Sheet to 5 Metrics You Must Know

Ah. It’s that time of year again when we kick-off another season of earnings with aluminum producer Alcoa (NYSE:AA).

Rather than enter the earnings release blind, here’s your Cheat Sheet to Alcoa’s Earnings:

1) Earnings Expectations: Analysts expect earnings of $0.27 a share on revenues of $6.14 billion (FactSet).

2) Outlook: Alcoa’s outlook for the remainder of 2011 will be based on whether the company continues to see higher aluminum prices (currently at $1.20/lb.), greater global demand, and declining metal exchange inventories. China (NYSE:FXI) and Emerging Markets (NYSE:EEM) play a key role, as well as the automotive and aerospace (NYSE:PPA) industries. However, during Monday’s earnings call investors will also be listening for potential increases in demand from Japan (NYSE:EWJ) following the recent disaster.

3) Keys to a Successful Earnings Announcement: Investors have relatively high expectations for Alcoa (NYSE:AA) heading into earnings. Investors will be looking for an improvement in margins based on pricing power and production from Alcoa’s new lower-cost plants. Volume of production will also be critical. Keep in mind shares of Alcoa (NYSE:AA) are already up over 14% during the past quarter.

4) Insider Activity: Unfavorable.

5) Top Competitors to Watch: Century Aluminum Company (NASDAQ:CENX), Alumina Limited (NYSE:AWC), Kaiser Aluminum Corp. (NASDAQ:KALU), Noranda Aluminum Holding Corporation (NYSE:NOR), and Aluminum Corp. of China (NYSE:ACH).

Join us Monday after the bell for a valuable recap of Alcoa earnings with commentary that matters for investors.