Alcoa Needs to Lose Earnings Season Indicator Status

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Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) is an overrated stock, and even the company itself might admit that its global importance is perhaps a bit of a stretch. Wall St. tries each quarter to use the company as a barometer for earnings season because it is the first Dow Jones Industrial Average component to report earnings. This comparison is one that needs to stop.

Alcoa beat earnings but was light on revenue. The company tried to maintain again that there would be 7% growth this year. The good news is that things actually are improving at the aluminum giant. The bad news is that this remains a restructuring story. Another reason we think that this company is overrated is because other companies have unseated its dominance.

Having a market cap of almost $9 billion hardly seems worthy of being one of 30 members of the DJIA. And with a share price less than $9, it is also a weakling on the DJIA, as the key investor index is price-weighted rather than market cap-weighted like the S&P 500.

Alcoa shares are down 1.4% at $8.27, but frankly the report seemed like one that, with the stock down about 5% so far in 2013, should have been good enough. That being said, Alcoa is no harbinger of earnings season, or when it is, then it is a coincidental reading rather than a leading indicator.

If you want companies that will beat earnings, Merrill Lynch offered a fresh list of eight large companies that it feels should beat earnings expectations during this earnings season.

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