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Alcoa Shines on Earnings

Shares rise after an earnings beat.
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Updated from April 10


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shares tacked on 3.7% early Wednesday following a first-quarter earnings beat.

The industrial giant, bolstered by higher metals prices, posted a 9% rise in first-quarter net income Tuesday afternoon on higher-than-expected revenue.

The aluminum producer said net income climbed to $662 million, or 75 cents a share, from $608 million, or 69 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding restructuring charges and discontinued operations, Alcoa's earnings totaled $691 million, or 79 cents a share. Analysts, who typically exclude items from their estimates, expected earnings of 76 cents a share, according to Thomson Financial.

Sales rose to $7.91 billion from $7.11 billion a year earlier, topping Wall Street's forecast of $7.65 billion. Alcoa said the growth was helped by higher metal prices and sales to the aerospace, building and construction, and industrial product markets.

"Alcoans have delivered another strong quarter of top and bottom line growth, productivity improvements in cost of goods and overhead, and a dramatic improvement in cash flow from last year's first quarter," said Alain Belda, Alcoa Chairman and CEO. "Our focus on higher value-added solutions, such as aerospace products, and productivity programs helped to continue our momentum this quarter.

The company is traditionally the first member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average to post quarterly results, and its report is viewed as the "kickoff" to earnings season.

Shares rose $1.28 to $36.18.