PITTSBURGH — Alcoa Inc. ushered in earnings season by reporting a 3 percent profit rise despite slumping revenue, as the aluminum producer's sale of a stake in a Chinese aluminum company helped lift results.

Still, company shares fell 99 cents, or 2.49 percent, to close at $38.73 Wednesday.

The sale and other cash-generating moves helped lead Alcoa, the first Dow Jones component to report third-quarter earnings, to expand its stock repurchase program to 25 percent of its outstanding shares.