On the heels of their first quarter earnings, Alcoa was down more than 6% Tuesday. The company announced that sales increased 22% to nearly 6 billion dollars but this fell short of analysts’ estimates. Alcoa’s earnings report kicks off first quarter announcements for Dow components and according to this Bloomberg chart, they may have company, as other businesses find it harder to beat estimates also:
Of further note, Alcoa (indirectly) blamed their miss on QE2:
The improvement over fourth quarter 2010 results was driven by higher realized prices for alumina and aluminum and growing demand for aluminum products in major end markets, along with productivity improvements. These were offset somewhat by a weaker U.S. dollar, along with higher energy and materials costs.
A weaker dollar is one of the intended outcomes of the Federal Reserves Quantitative Easing Plan which is set to end this June.