Klaus Kleinfeld was the CEO of Alcoa (AA) - Get Alcoa Corp. Report before it split into two companies, one of which was Arconic (ARNC) - Get Arconic, Inc. Report , the company Kleinfeld lead after the split.
"There is not a plaque, there is not a statue or a signpost for Klaus Kleinfeld of Alcoa," TheStreet's Jim Cramer said on CNBC's "Mad Dash" segment Friday. That's because of the drama that unraveled between Kleinfeld and activist investor Paul Singer of Elliott that eventually pushed Kleinfeld out the door. This comes despite how much Kleinfeld was able to accomplish for Alcoa in his time at the helm.
"Do you know what he said to me?" Cramer asked co-host David Faber. Kleinfeld explained that the Chinese would have to shut down its bauxite mines eventually, because the processes they used were just too dirty. The pollution was terrible and was taxing the environment and citizens at way too high a rate.
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For years, China was responsible for "dumping" supply on the open market, causing alumina prices to remain under continual pressure, hurting companies like Alcoa. Well, guess what? Looming supply cuts and mine closures in China have sent alumina prices soaring, as the country concentrates on its environment impact.
"He predicted all of this," Cramer said, "he had a vision."
Aluminum prices are climbing back to pre-recession levels, one reason Citi analysts raised their price target on Alcoa stock to $53 from $45, he pointed out. Shares are already up about 65% on the year and more than 100% over the past 12 months. A rally to $53 would represent another 15% gain from current levels.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in ARNC.