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Forzberg in Igor,

Alcoa's shares will reach $19 in medium term

I believe that shares of aluminum giant Alcoa are well positioned for the further growth. The company ended 2014 on a strong note, with both revenues and adjusted earnings topping consensus estimates in the fourth quarter. Besides, the company’s Q4 free cash flow was the highest since 2010. Alcoa benefitted from the strengths across aerospace and automotive markets, higher metals pricing and productivity gains. The company expects aluminum demand to rise 7% this year, and also provided a strong forecast for the aerospace market.

Alcoa is witnessing healthy airline fundamentals. It expects the aerospace market to grow 9-10% in 2015 on the back of strong demand for large commercial aircraft, regional jets and jet engines. Alcoa has been actively focused on expanding its aerospace business lately. The recent acquisition of UK-based leading jet engine components maker Firth Rixson represents a significant milestone in Alcoa’s portfolio transformation strategy. The $2.85 bn acquisition has allowed Alcoa to penetrate into a highly specialized segment of jet engine forgings and has further strengthened its robust aerospace portfolio.

Besides, Alcoa recently made another major push into the aerospace market as it agreed to buy Germany-based Tital in a bid to leverage strong growth in the commercial aerospace sector and capture rising demand for advanced jet engine components made of titanium. Alcoa has also landed two multi-year contracts worth more than USD 2 bn with Boeing and Pratt & Whitney, further underscoring its efforts to strengthen its aerospace business.

The automotive industry is also expected to offer significant opportunity. Alcoa sees continued growth of aluminum use in the auto sector in 2015 as automakers increasingly look for the metal as a cost-effective mean to boost performance, safety, durability and fuel efficiency of their vehicles.

Alcoa is also making a significant progress with its joint venture with Ma’aden in Saudi Arabia. The joint venture is developing the world’s lowest-cost integrated aluminum facility which, when fully ramped up, is expected to offer significant cost advantage to the company. Moreover, Alcoa remains committed to move down its cost curves in its upstream businesses and drive profitability in its downstream business. It is actively repositioning its portfolio, including closure of high-cost smelters.

My target price for Alcoa’s shares is USD 19. So, I believe the stock has a solid growth potential.