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Alcoa Profit, Sales Top Forecasts; Shares Jump

Alcoa shares rose about 4 percent in extended trading Tuesday as the company turned in a profit and sales that were lower than last year but still managed to beat expectations.

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AP

The aluminum company said it earned 66 cents a share on sales of $7.62 billion in the second quarter, against earnings of 81 cents a share on a topline of $8.066 billion last year.

Analysts expected Alcoa to earn 64 cents a share on sales of $7.358 billion, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Shares of Alcoa were roughly 4 percent higher in electronic trading after closing 3.17 percent lower at $32.33 Tuesday.

"They're not hitting the cover off the ball, but it's an in-line quarter, maybe a little bit better than some people expected,'' said Mark Liinamaa, a metals and mining analyst at Morgan Stanley.

"They're dealing with the cost of high inputs like everyone is. But aluminum prices are looking pretty good,'' he said.

The results include a charge of $39 million, or 5 cents per share, stemming from a "force majeure" caused by a gas supply disruption in Australia and the idling of Alcoa's Rockdale, Texas, smelter because of local power supply problems.

"Global supply and demand is essentially balanced, (and) even though North America and Europe are experiencing significant weakness in specific in markets, global consumption remains robust,'' Chief Financial Officer Chuck McLane told a conference call.

Production of alumina, or unfinished aluminum, slipped about 1 percent during the quarter, although aluminum output rose 3.5 percent to 1.03 million tons.

The company's prices for aluminum sold jumped to $3,058 per ton from $2,879 a year earlier.

- Wire services contributed to this report.