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Alcoa third-quarter earnings rise, shares gain

Oct 8 (Reuters) - Aluminum producer Alcoa Inc reported a rise in third-quarter profit on Wednesday due to higher aluminum prices and premiums although it recorded restructuring charges on a smelter closure.

Net income was $149 million, or 12 cents a share, compared with $24 million, or 2 cents, a year earlier. Sales rose to $6.2 billion from $5.8 billion. After the results were announced, the company's stock rose 20 cents in after-hours trading to $16.26.

Excluding the impact of special items, Alcoa's earnings were $370 million, or 31 cents a share for the three months ended September. Analysts expected earnings of 22.7 cents a share on revenue of $5.85 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Alcoa traditionally has been the first S&P 500 company to report quarterly results. Because it supplies several major industries, some see it as a bellwether for the broader U.S. economy, but its performance often diverges from its markets and the economy as a whole.

(Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver and Allison Martell in Toronto; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)