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Ranking the 10 Best Stocks for 2012 — Through Q1

See how our expert picks have panned out in three months

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No. 5: Alcoa

Alcoa AAReturn as of 3/30: +15.8%
Jeff Reeves

InvestorPlace Editor Jeff Reeves’ pick for the Best Stocks for 2012 contest is Alcoa (NYSE:AA), and it hasn’t disappointed during the first quarter, outpacing the S&P 500 with 18% returns year-to-date.

His original argument for Alcoa was a good valuation — the company already had flopped dramatically from pre-recession levels and streamlined its way back to profitability — and that because aluminum has a certain baseline demand built in, there was no room to go but up.

And up it went. Alcoa’s quarterly earnings report was a bit of a mixed bag, but revenues of $5.99 billion were up from the year-ago period and beat analyst expectations. However, since its breakneck gains in January, Alcoa stock has mostly listed while the markets continued climbing higher.

Fears of a Chinese economic slowdown have at least had some investors slow to fully embrace an Alcoa comeback. Still, Alcoa projects 7% growth in aluminum demand, thanks to cutbacks in production, which should help prices — and ultimately, AA stock.

Disclosure: Jeff Reeves owns a personal position in Alcoa stock.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, http://investorplace.com/2012/04/ranking-the-10-best-stocks-for-2012-q1/.

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