Aluminium manufacturer Alcoa said last night that it lost $143m in the third quarter of 2012 due to hefty one-time charges.

But the company's results still topped Wall Street estimates.

Alcoa's loss amounted to 13 cents a share. That compared with net income of $172m, or 15 cents a share, the same time a year ago.

Excluding $175m in charges, Alcoa earned $32m, or 3 cents per share. Revenue fell to $5.83 billion from $6.42 billion but still beat analysts' expectations.

Alcoa produces aluminium for a wide range of businesses, from cars to appliance makers and energy companies.

It is the first company in the Dow Jones to report quarterly earnings, so investors often watch its results for signs of how earnings may unfold for other companies.

The company has been challenged by the global manufacturing slowdown that cut into demand from many of its customers. Aluminium production fell slightly and realised aluminium prices dropped 17% from a year ago.

It lowered its 2012 global aluminium demand forecast to 6% from 7%, citing the economic slowdown in China. Alcoa also said it is anticipating a slowdown across all major regions of the world for the rest of the year.