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Alcoa earnings: 31 cents per share, ex-items, vs. expected EPS of 23 cents

Alcoa reported earnings and revenue on Wednesday that beat analysts' expectations as net income rose more than 70 percent from a year ago.

Alcoa posted third-quarter earnings per share of 31 cents, up 71 percent from 18 cents per share in the year-earlier period. Revenue increased about 7 percent sequentially to $6.24 billion, up 8 percent.

The aluminum-maker's shares rose nearly 2 percent in after-hours trading, having closed about 1 percent higher at $16.07 in the regular session.

Rolled aluminum is fed into a machine on the auto treatment line at the Alcoa Inc. Davenport Works aluminum facility in Riverdale, Iowa.
Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Rolled aluminum is fed into a machine on the auto treatment line at the Alcoa Inc. Davenport Works aluminum facility in Riverdale, Iowa.

Wall Street had expected the company to hand in earnings of 23 cents per share on $5.85 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

"This quarter is a clear data point that Alcoa's transformation is delivering," CEO Klaus Kleinfeld said. "Our downstream business again achieved historically high profitability, the midstream maintained disciplined cost control while capturing growth, and primary metals performed at levels not seen since before the downturn."

Read MoreInside the world's largest aluminum-lithium plant

Alcoa's primary metals' adjusted per metric ton was $612, the strongest since the second quarter of 2008, reflecting a lower cost, reshaped commodity business better positioned to capture greater profitability from higher metal prices.

The company said its downstream business, engineered products and solutions, generated $209 million in after-tax operating income, its best ever quarterly results.

Alcoa increased its 2014 estimate of production growth for the North America commercial transportation market to a range of 16 percent to 20 percent, up from a previous range of 10 percent to 14 percent in the second quarter.

The company forecast global aluminum demand growth of 7 percent in 2014.

As of Wednesday's close, the aluminum maker's shares had gained more than 100 percent over the past 12 months.

Alcoa unveiled the world's largest aluminum-lithium facility earlier this month—one of three such plants in development. The warehouse, which cost $90 million, represents a big bet on the future of aviation.