Alcoa Inc. Location Manager Ken McMillen, left, Sen. Lamar Alexander, Alcoa CEO Klaus Kleinfeld, U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., and Gov. Bill Haslam arrive for a groundbreaking for a $275 million expansion of the Alcoa Inc. rolling mill to produce automotive sheet aluminum on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, in Alcoa. (Paul Efird/News Sentinel)
The news hasn’t been good this week for aluminum manufacturer Alcoa Inc.
It’s stock price is tumbling, a Duetsche Bank analyst downgraded the stock to sell and forecasters were predicting aluminum prices would fall 12 percent or more over the next two years.
All this on the heels of Alcoa being booted last month from the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
The future of Alcoa, which recently announced plans for a $275 million expansion of its Blount County manufacturing operation, will have a significant impact on the East Tennessee economy. The company is investing in a plant upgrade in a move to take advantage of rising demand for aluminum by auto makers.
Alcoa will kickoff earnings season with the release of its quarterly financial report on Tuesday.
Given recent headlines it will be interesting to see how the company performed last quarter and its outlook for the near future.
Deutsche Bank analyst Jorge Beristain told Forbes the company should spin-off its primary metals business to ease its cash-flow problems.
Click the headlines below for more details: CNNMoney: Alcoa CEO on debt ceiling Motley Fool: Why Alcoa doesn’t seem so shiny Forbes: Alcoa’s $1.2 Billion Drag: Analyst Makes Case For Breakup
Knoxville medical sciences company ProNova Solutions will break ground Tuesday, Aug. 13, on a $52 million development in Pellissippi Place research and development park in Blount County.
The company previously announced the project would include an office and research building with an assembly and test area initially supporting 35 employees and growing to 110 by 2015.
Pronova is developing equipment for proton therapy, a form of cancer treatment that reduces collateral tissue damage, side effects and treatment costs compared to conventional radiation therapy.
The company will be the first tenant in Pellissippi Place and eventually expects to employ more than 500.
The groundbreaking is at 10:30 a.m. at the entrance to Pellissippi Place, 3007 Old Knoxville Highway in Maryville.
Pellissippi Place is a joint project of Knox and Blount counties and the cities of Alcoa and Maryville.
Two years ago this month, the R&D park was officially opened with a “lighting of the park” ceremony attended by some 200 business and political leaders from the Knoxville region.
Click here for more on Pellissippi Place.
Click here for more on ProNova Solutions.
Early in 2009 aluminum maker Alcoa Inc. cut 13,500 jobs worldwide as it struggled to right-size operations as metals demand declined and the world economy floundered. Some 450 jobs were cut at its Blount County plant.
Tough times continued this year. In January, the company said 2010 was going to be another down year and it cut more jobs, including 90 in Blount County where it shut down a smelter.
Now it’s all smiles at the Pittsburgh headquarters, or so it seems. Will the Blount plant benefit?