Alcoa (NYSE:AA) today reported income from continuing operations of $94 million, or $0.09 per share, in first quarter 2012, a $287 million improvement over fourth quarter 2011, led by strong productivity growth and improved market conditions. Excluding the impact of special items, income from continuing operations was $105 million, or $0.10 per share. Special items in first quarter 2012 included the negative impact of mark-to-market changes on certain energy contracts and restructuring charges primarily related to smelter curtailments. First quarter 2012 income from continuing operations compares to fourth quarter 2011 loss from continuing operations of $193 million, or $0.18 per share, and first quarter 2011 income from continuing operations of $309 million, or $0.27 per share. The improvement over fourth quarter 2011 results was driven by strong productivity improvements across all businesses, higher realized prices for aluminum, and improved volume and mix. These were offset somewhat by a lower realized alumina price and higher input costs. “Performance rebounded strongly this quarter due to our proactive cash sustainability actions, our relentless focus on profitable growth, and stabilizing markets,” said Klaus Kleinfeld, Alcoa Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We are successfully executing on our aggressive strategy to move down the cost curve in our upstream businesses, and drive to record profitability in our midstream and downstream businesses. Challenges remain in this economy, but we approach them better prepared than ever before.” Alcoa recorded first quarter 2012 revenue of $6.0 billion, up slightly over fourth quarter 2011 and first quarter 2011. A 9 percent drop in the realized price of aluminum and a 13 percent drop in the realized price of alumina, year-on-year, were partially offset by higher third-party shipments in the upstream businesses, better volume and mix in the midstream business, and improved volume in the downstream business. Alcoa recorded revenue growth in the first quarter across global end markets, including industrial products (14 percent), automotive (13 percent), packaging (11 percent), and commercial transportation (11 percent), compared to fourth quarter 2011. Compared to first quarter 2011, revenues were up in commercial transportation (32 percent), aerospace (15 percent), and automotive (7 percent), while revenues were down in industrial products (14 percent) and building and construction (5 percent).