Alcoa Inc. said Wednesday it earned $195 million, or 14 cents a share, in the first quarter, reversing a loss of 16 cents a share a year ago. Excluding special items, the company earned 28 cents a share. Sales rose to $5.8 billion on the quarter, from $5.4 billion a year ago, mainly due to on growth in Alcoa's automotive and aerospace businesses, the company said. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected earnings of 26 cents a share on sales of $5.9 billion for the quarter. The company also revised upward its 2014 global aluminum demand growth expectations from 7% to 9% to 54 million metric tons. It said it continues to project about 3.5 million metric tons of new demand growth in 2015, or 6.5%, for a record 57.5 million metric tons of the metal this year. The company had predicted a 7% demand growth for aluminium when it released fourth-quarter results earlier this year. Shares of Alcoa were down 0.9% in after-hours, after ending Wednesday off 2%.
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