NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Investors would be wise to avoid buying shares of Alcoa (AA) before the company reports fourth-quarter results, said TheStreet's Jim Cramer, co-manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, on CNBC's "Mad Dash" segment. 

Cramer noted that Nomura Securities upgraded the stock to buy from hold and raised its 12-month price target to $23 from $15. 

"This is not good news for Alcoa," because it raises expectations, Cramer said.

Although aluminum prices have fallen, Alcoa has altered its business model so that it isn't affected by price fluctuations as much as it was in the past.

Still, lower prices won't help the company, and Cramer said he was unsure whether Alcoa can top Nomura's "Street high" estimates. The company reports Monday after the bell.

"I don't want to trade Alcoa, it's just not worth it," he said, adding that he he prefers to own the stock long term instead of trying to time short-term purchases and sales of it.

AA Chart
Alcoa AA data by YCharts

Turning to the energy sector, Cramer took a look at shares of Southwestern Energy (SWN) , which are down 4.5% after the company announced a 20.25 million share secondary offering. 

The company, which was recently considered as a possible takeover target, is doing the secondary offering in order to improve its balance sheet, Cramer said. It's only a matter of time before other companies start doing the same, he added.

"This is the beginning of companies trying to cure their balance sheets," Cramer said, which will cause short-term pain to these companies' share prices. 

There are a lot of companies that need oil to go higher or they will have to take similar actions, Cramer said. They include Halcon Resources (HK) , Goodrich Petroleum (GDP) , and Laredo Petroleum Holdings (LPI) .


At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had no position in companies mentioned. At the time of publication, the author had no positions in companies mentioned.