Alcoa posts $2.3 billion 4Q loss on write-downs

DALLAS – Alcoa says it lost $2.34 billion in the fourth quarter, mostly because it wrote down the value of aluminum-smelting operations.

The company said Thursday without the write-downs and other special items, it would have earned 4 cents per share on revenue of $5.59 billion, a drop of 5 percent.

FactSet said analysts were expecting adjusted earnings of 6 cents per share on revenue of $5.36 billion.

Alcoa is struggling with low aluminum prices. The company predicts demand for aluminum will grow 7 percent this year, the same as in 2013.

The company released fourth-quarter results hours after announcing an affiliate pleaded guilty to bribing officials in the Middle East kingdom of Bahrain. The affiliate and Alcoa agreed to pay $384 million in penalties.