PITTSBURGH, Pa.( TheStreet) -- Analysts have been busy in recent weeks lowering expectations ahead of Alcoa's ( AA) earnings, but the bigger issue for investors is the Street divide over whether the situation will get worse before it gets better for the U.S. industrial bellwether. Alcoa is the first of the Dow stocks to report, and has also been the biggest loser on the Dow in 2010, the first time Alcoa has had this dubious distinction since 1998. Several analysts have slashed Alcoa earnings estimates by as much as 50% in the past few weeks as second quarter aluminum pricing final data made the wide range of Street expectations for Alcoa earnings out of date. There is still a high of 20 cents among analyst estimates for Alcoa earnings, but the Street consensus of 12 cents reflects the recent spate of Alcoa earnings revisions. The analyst lowest estimate for Alcoa is 9 cents. Charles Bradford, an analyst with Affiliated Research Group, lowered his second-quarter Alcoa estimate to 12 cents per share from 19 cents. Anthony Rizzuto, managing director of Dahlman Rose, reduced his second-quarter estimate to 10 cents from 15 cents because of the lower aluminum prices. Tony Robson, analyst at BMO Capital Markets, recently dropped his second-quarter Alcoa earnings' estimate to 10 cents a share from 19 cents. Some analysts indicated that the high end of Alcoa earnings estimates, at 20 cents, simply reflects an analyst who has not updated Alcoa estimates based on readily available aluminum market pricing data for the second quarter. RBC Capital Markets analyst Fraser Phillips expects currency gains to offset the aluminum pricing at result in earnings of 15 cents in the second quarter. Affiliated Research analyst Bradford said he expected currency to be a tailwind in the second quarter too. Expectations for the second quarter earnings, though, may be less significant than fears of what the recent drop in aluminum prices will do to Alcoa's third quarter. Over the past three months, the price of aluminum has declined from over $2,400 per tonne in April to roughly $2,000.