What happened 

Shares of metals company Allegheny Technologies Incorporated (NYSE:ATI) jumped as much as 11.1% in trading Tuesday after the company report first-quarter 2017 earnings. As of 3:50 p.m. EDT, the stock had settled to a 10.3% gain. 

So what

Revenue was up 14% from a year ago to $865.9 million, and net income was $17.5 million, or $0.16 per share. Results easily topped the $850.5 million in revenue and $0.11 per share in earnings that analysts had expected. 

A steel manufacturing facility.

Image source: Getty Images.

Management also projected 2017 revenue growth of about 10% and low double-digit operating profits as a percentage of sales. Cost-cutting measures put in place recently should result in improving margin, and management thinks it has turned the corner to profitability. 

Now what

Operations are barely starting to become profitable, but the signs from the first quarter are positive. Costs have been kept under control and sales are increasing, indicating the specialty metals market isn't as oversupplied as it was a year ago. If Allegheny Technologies can keep up the momentum, the stock could continue its strong run. Watch for growth to remain in double digits for the remainder of the year and for margin improvement to make sure last quarter wasn't a one-time boost for the company.

Travis Hoium has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.