opened up the first-quarter earnings season on Wall Street by reporting profits that fell short of analysts' estimates, though revenue was better than had been expected.
The aluminum company had quarterly earnings of $303 million, or 37 cents a share, down from $662 million and 75 cents a share in the year-earlier period. Excluding items, Alcoa would have earned 44 cents in the most recent quarter, falling 4 cents short of the consensus projection of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial.
Revenue declined to $7.38 billion in the quarter from $7.91 billion last year, but exceeded the forecast of $7.18 billion.
"We have generated strong returns in the face of challenging economic conditions and three of our segments -- primary, flat-rolled and engineered products and solutions -- achieved substantial
after-tax operating income growth," said Alain Belda, Alcoa's chairman and CEO, in a statement. "Upstream margins were squeezed by higher energy costs and a weaker U.S. dollar, but the global market remains tight and prices are near historic highs, primarily driven by demand in Asia, especially China."
Belda also said that market fundamentals "remain strong, and we are well positioned to boost returns when the North American and European economies rebound."
Shares of Alcoa fell 3.9% ahead of the report.
This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.