Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) released its first quarter earnings report after closing bell today. As expected, the company’s revenue was soft, but it still managed to beat earnings expectations. Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) reported adjusted earnings per share of 11 cents on $5.83 billion in revenue. The company’s net income was reported to be $149 million during the quarter. Net income excluding special items was $121 million.

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Consensus for the company’s first quarter was earnings per share of 8 cents, a drop from the 13 cents per share that was expected for the company’s first quarter at the beginning of the year. Revenue was expected to be $5.88 billion.

The aluminum maker has been struggling due to an oversupply of the metal, although in its guidance today, it predicted 7 percent aluminum demand growth this year. Prices on the London Metal Exchange have been dropping significantly since February as a result, and expectations for the company’s earnings report have fallen since January.

In the 2012 annual earnings call last year, Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) management said larger macroeconomic factors rather than basic supply and demand were affecting aluminum prices. At that time, the European debt crisis was heating up while China’s growth was slowing.

However, the debt crisis in Europe seems to have at least stabilized, even though it hasn’t improved. Also the U.S. economy is beginning to show signs of recovery. The housing market and the automobile market are both showing early signs of recovery.

Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) estimates global growth in several areas, including the aerospace industry and building and construction industry.

As of this writing, shares of Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) were down less than 1 percent in after-hours trading at the New York Stock Exchange.