NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Alcoa (AA) - Get Alcoa Corp. Report is a material name that gets a lot of attention, probably because it reports early in the earnings period or because its products have important uses in the global economy. Either way, AA merits a look at the charts.

The long-term chart of AA (below) shows both the severity of the 2008-2009 bear market and the subsequent repair process since.

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AA went into an economic tailspin in 2008 and declined to just $5 from $45 in those white-knuckle weeks. When stocks lose 80% to 90% of their value, it can take a long time to rebuild. Remember those high-flying housing stocks of the early 2000s needed three years of sideways price action before another advance could get underway.

AA has been trading between $8 and the upper teens for a number of years. A rally to $18 from $8 is a big percentage swing, but when the advance is not durable, an investor needs to know when to take profits. With the recent decline back to the $8 base price, we get another chance position AA at a level that has held in the past, but a go-slow approach is warranted.

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In the chart above, AA and its on-balance-volume (OBV) line have been declining. While there may be some buying or accumulation going on below the surface, the OBV is not moving up significantly and suggests that more sideways action may be needed to attract buyers. While AA may start looking attractive on some fundamental screen, technically-oriented investors will want to see more evidence before proceeding.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates ALCOA INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate ALCOA INC (AA) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed – some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, generally higher debt management risk and weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 18.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.0%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and greatly outperformed compared to the Metals & Mining industry average. The net income increased by 1.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $138.00 million to $140.00 million.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Metals & Mining industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, ALCOA INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • Looking at the price performance of AA's shares over the past 12 months, there is not much good news to report: the stock is down 45.28%, and it has underformed the S&P 500 Index. In addition, the company's earnings per share are lower today than the year-earlier quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • AA's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.71 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Despite the fact that AA's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 0.69 is low and demonstrates weak liquidity.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: AA Ratings Report