NEW YORK Alcoa (AA) kicked off earnings season Monday by reporting a larger first-quarter profit than analysts expected, helped by strong demand for aluminum used to make airplanes and automobiles.
Revenue fell to $5.83 billion from $6.01 billion a year earlier and was below the $5.91 billion that analysts predicted. That news helped send Alcoa shares down 3/4 of a percent in after hours trading.
The company still sees demand for aluminum growing 7 percent in 2013, with gains cutting across many industries.
Alcoa is the first company in the Dow Jones industrial average to report first-quarter results. Because its products wind up in so many things, from cars and buildings to soda cans, investors study Alcoa's results for hints about earnings at companies in other industries.
Alcoa said net income in the first quarter was $149 million, or 13 cents per share, compared with $94 million, or 9 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding special items, the company said it would have earned 11 cents per share, beating analysts' forecast of 8 cents per share, according to FactSet.
Before Alcoa released the results, its shares rose 15 cents to close at $8.39. They fell 7 cents in after-hours trading.