Alcoa Profit Beats Estimates on Higher Prices

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Aluminum producer Alcoa Inc. (AA) said Tuesday its first-quarter profit rose nearly 9 percent as favorable metal prices and strong sales boosted results.

The Pittsburgh-based company earned $662 million, or 75 cents per share, during the first three months of the year compared with $608 million, or 69 cents per share, during the same period last year.

Revenue climbed 11 percent to $7.9 billion, from $7.1 billion a year earlier, due to higher metal prices and sales to the aerospace, industrial product, and building and construction markets, according to the company.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial on average expected earnings of 76 cents per share on revenue of $7.65 billion.

Alcoa is the first Dow Jones Industrial Average component to report quarterly earnings.

Shares of the company climbed 13 percent during the quarter and closed up 3 cents at $34.90 Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange. Alcoa shares have traded between $26.39 and $36.96 in the past 52 weeks.