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Alcoa Earnings Preview

Aloca is scheduled to report earnings Monday after the bell. What should you expect and how should you trade?

The Expectations

On average Wall Street expects Alcoa to report a small quarterly profit next week but many investors worry about the company’s future prospects with the price of aluminum only slowly inching up from the recession.

"Investors remain skeptical about aluminum fundamentals," Morgan Stanley analyst Mark Liinamaa wrote in a research note.

Alcoa's downstream, or consumer businesses were likely to improve, but "leverage to the aluminum price (is) likely a key focus again this quarter," he said.

Aluminum, used in automobile and plane manufacturing, and for kitchen wrap and beverage cans, reached a peak of $3,380 in July 2008. But it slumped 35 percent later as the global economy went into recession and has only slowly risen.

Although the metal was selling at an 18-month high of around $2,400 on Friday, it has only gained about 3.3 percent during the first quarter.

On average, Wall Street expects Alcoa, which traditionally kicks off the quarterly earnings season, to post a first-quarter profit of 10 cents per share on Monday, a big improvement on a loss of 59 cents per share in the same quarter last year, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

What’s the trade?

On Friday, J.P. Morgan downgraded Alcoa's investment rating to "neutral" from "overweight and slashed its price target to $16.50 from $21.50 citing weak volumes and struggling margins.

My bet is that after earnings Alcoa trades higher because it's traded down and investors are basically 'clearing the deck,' says Jon Najarian. In other words, it probably sold off too much on the JPMorgan note and other bearish analyst notes.

If Alcoa sells off, I'm a buyer of the sell-off, says Joe Terranova.


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Trader disclosure: On April 9, 2010, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Terranova Owns (HES), (TER), (AXP), (YHOO), (APA),; Terranova Is Short (LCC), (XLY); Finerman's Firm Is Short (IYR), (IJR), (MDY), (SPY), (IWM): Finerman's Firm Is Long S&P Puts: Finerman Owns (AAPL), (USO); Finerman's Firm Owns (BAC), (BAC) Leap; Finerman Owns (BAC) Preferred, (BAC), (BAC) Calls; Finerman's Firm Owns (CASY); Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (JPM); Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (BBY); Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (WFC) Preferred; Grasso Owns (LPX), (ASTM), (ABK), (AAPL), (BAC), (BGP), (C), (CVGI), (COST), (JPM), (NEM), (PRST), (WMT), (PFE), (BA), (T); Iuorio Owns (AAPL), (WMT), (FXA), (FXC); Iuorio Owns (SPY) Calls; Iuorio Owns (QQQQ) Calls; Iuorio Owns (USO) Puts; Iuorio Owns (GLD), (GLD) calls; Iuorio Owns (FXE) Puts; Jon Najarian Owns (PALM); Jon Najarian Owns (JPM) Preferred; Jon Najarian Owns (GOOG) Put Spreads, Owns (AAPL) Call Spreads; Kelly Owns (NBG), (FRE); Karabell Owns (FCX); Seymour Owns (AAPL), (AA), (BAC), (BP), (INTC), (MSFT)

For Tim Seymour
Seygem Asset Management Owns (POT)

For JoeTerranova
Terranova Works For (VRTS)
Terranova Is Chief Market Strategist Of Virtus Investment Partners, Ltd.
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLU)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (IGE)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLY)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (DBV)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLP)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLB)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLV)
Virtus Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (XLI)

For Steve Grasso
Stuart Frankel And Its Partners Own (LPX)
Stuart Frankel And Its Partners Own (CUBA)
Stuart Frankel And Its Partners Own (CVGI)
Stuart Frankel And Its Partners Own (GERN)
Stuart Frankel And Its Partners Own (HSPO)
Stuart Frankel And Its Partners Own (MERC)
Stuart Frankel And Its Partners Own (NWS.A)
Stuart Frankel And Its Partners Own (NXST)
Stuart Frankel And Its Partners Own (NYX)
Stuart Frankel And Its Partners Own (PDE)
Stuart Frankel And Its Partners Own (PFE)
Stuart Frankel And Its Partners Own (PRST)
Stuart Frankel And Its Partners Own (RDC)
Stuart Frankel And Its Partners Own (TLM)
Stuart Frankel And Its Partners Own (XRX)
Stuart Frankel And Its Partners Own (SDS)
Stuart Frankel And Its Partners Are Short (QQQQ)
Stuart Frankel And Its Partners Are Short (CL)
Stuart Frankel And Its Partners Are Short (AAPL)

For Brian Kelly
Kanundrum Capital Owns (MS)
Kanundrum Capital Owns (FRE)
Kanundrum Capital Owns (FNM)
Kanundrum Capital Owns (VMC)
Kanundrum Capital Owns (POT)
Kanundrum Capital Owns (GOOG)
Kanundrum Capital Owns (NBG)
Kanundrum Capital Is Long Dollar
Kanundrum Capital Is Long Treasuries
Kanundrum Capital Is Short Euro
Kanundrum Capital Is Short Yen
Kanundrum Capital Is Short Franc


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