NEW YORK – Alcoa Inc (AA.N) reported a first-quarter profit that beat estimates as the price of aluminum, its primary product, rose sharply and demand for the metal grew in major end markets.
Income from continuing operations, excluding special items, was 28 cents per share, which topped the analyst expectation of 27 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. But revenue slightly missed the Wall Street target, even though it rose 22 percent to $6.0 billion,
"Our outlook for the rest of 2011 and beyond remains very positive due to the world's growing population (and) increasing urbanization," Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Klaus Kleinfeld said in Monday's earnings release.
The company's shares slipped 2.4 percent to $17.35 in after-hours trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Alcoa said the improvement was driven by higher realized prices for aluminum and its raw material, alumina. There was growing demand for aluminum products in major end markets such as packaging, automotive, transportation and industrial products.
Net first-quarter earnings were $308 million, or 27 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $201 million, or 20 cents per share in the same quarter of 2010, the Pittsburgh-based company said.
The price of aluminum has rose more than 30 percent in the past year, from around $1,990 per ton during the first quarter of 2010 to around $2,600 currently.
(Reporting by Steve James, editing by Bernard Orr)
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