Alcoa reports strong first-quarter profit

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Alcoa Inc <AA.N> reported a large first-quarter profit on Monday, after a loss a year ago as the price of aluminum, its primary product, rose sharply with demand for the metal.

Net first-quarter earnings were $308 million, or 27 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $201 million, or 20 cents per share in the same quarter of 2010, the Pittsburgh-based company said.

Income from continuing operations, excluding a negative impact for special items, was 28 cents per share.

Revenue rose 22 percent to $6.00 billion, with double-digit increases in packaging, automotive, transportation and industrial products, Alcoa said.

The price of aluminum has risen more than 30 percent in the past year, from around $1,990 per ton during the first quarter of 2010 to around $2,600 currently.

(Reporting by Steve James, editing by Bernard Orr)