Alcoa Inc reported a fourth-quarter profit on Tuesday as cost cuts helped offset a drop in aluminum prices.

For the fourth quarter, the company reported net income of $242 million, or 21 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $191 million, or 18 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Sales fell 1.5 percent to $5.89 billion.

The Pittsburgh-based company expected global aluminum demand to rise 7 percent in 2013.

Following are initial reactions of analysts and investors:


"Look, the stock is trading the same place it was a year ago. It's difficult to make money with aluminum prices at these levels, but consumption is holding up well. Aluminum prices averaged $2,000 a ton in the fourth quarter and they need higher prices for consistent profitability."

(Reporting By Anna L. Driver in Houston,; Editing by Patricia Kranz)