UPDATE 4-Alcoa profit rises, but price concerns linger

Mon Apr 8, 2013 8:16pm EDT
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* Q1 EPS $0.13 vs $0.09 year earlier

* Revenue slips 3 pct to $5.83 bln vs consensus $5.88 bln

* Maintains forecast for global aluminum demand but sees supply tightening

By Allison Martell

April 8 (Reuters) - Alcoa Inc, the largest U.S. aluminum producer, reported a higher quarterly profit on Monday thanks in part to strength at its raw materials segment, but lower-than-expected revenue and an uncertain outlook dragged down the company's share price.

Stubbornly low aluminum prices have weighed on the company's business of mining bauxite, refining it into alumina and smelting alumina to produce aluminum.

"Most analysts when they update their spreadsheets probably will reduce their 2013 estimates (for Alcoa) because the metal price plunged so much in the last several weeks," said John Tumazos, an analyst at Very Independent Reseach.com.

Alcoa, the first of the S&P 500 companies to report first-quarter results, is viewed as a bellwether for the materials sector, and some look to it as a gauge of the health of the broader economy.

The company maintained its forecast of 7 percent growth in global aluminum demand this year, and said it sees a tighter market, with supply falling.   Continued...