After this quarter I am convinced, now more than ever, that Alcoa is on track for a good year. But until it actually has one, this might not matter. The headwinds against the stock are that strong. The worries about its debt picture, despite its cash position, are that deep -- deep enough that an analyst on the call still felt compelled to ask if Alcoa needs to issue equity in order to fix its balance sheet and pay the debt off that comes due this year.
Klaus Kleinfeld is the Rodney Dangerfield of CEOs. He does not get the respect he so very much deserves. One day it will happen. It just isn't happening now. I think it is a mistake that it isn't. But no judgment could be less consequential than mine about this vastly transformed company and its tremendous book of business.
One day that judgment will gain clout, and the stock will go back to where it was a couple of years ago -- when the company was not doing as well as it is now.
But not yet. Unlike so many other stocks, moreover, Alcoa is not paying you to wait, given that meager 1.4% dividend yield. Let's just hope, for Alcoa's sake, that it won't be because of a merely rising yield, but because of an increased payout. Maybe that's the only way for Kleinfeld to get respect and for his company's stock to reach the heights it deserves.Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, has no positions in the stocks mentioned.