Stocks discussed on the in-depth session of Jim Cramer's Mad Money TV Program, Wednesday March 13.
The Dow was up for 9 straight days, something the index hasn't done since 1996. In the 90s, the economy was strong, and it was the "Golden Age of Investing." Employment was plentiful, and the government's budget was balanced. Given the varying fundamentals of the two time periods, the mid-90s and today, some might suspect that the move in stocks now is merely hyperbolic and has no real basis. Cramer pointed to some advantages in the current economy that could support the general bullishness, including lower tax rates than in the 90s (even as there have been recent tax increases), strength in retail and housing and the fact that companies have plenty of cash to make acquisitions, raise dividends and buy back stocks. Stocks are actually cheaper than they were in the mid-90s. While the 90s was a Golden Age, the current time doesn't show an impending Dark Age. Cramer would wait for a decline to buy many stocks, but he believes in the current market.
Cramer took some calls:
For decades, Cramer has not liked the airline sector because of cut-throat competition. With aggressive consolidation, this problem is ameliorating, and Cramer is now bullish on airlines. US Airways (LCC) has risen 15% since Cramer recommended it last week.
Spirit Airlines (SAVE) is another airline Cramer likes; it has been profitable every year since 2007. Its new CEO, Ben Baldanza, undertook major restructuring to cut costs and keep ticket prices low. SAVE keeps its fleet of 46 planes in the air longer, 13 hours a day, than virtually any other company, and has larger planes with more available seats. The company has no debt, a strong cash flow, and is growing capacity by 21%. The stock has almost doubled since it came public in 2011. The CEO discussed how SAVE can offer some of the lowest fares in the industry while making a solid margin. The secret is keeping costs low and finding efficient ways to grow the business. Cramer said that while many airlines are not well-managed, Spirit has superior management and a solid business model.
More Stocks For The Gatsby Index: Toll Brothers (TOL), Saks (SKS), Tiffany (TIF), Brunswick (BC), Coach (COH), Estee Lauder (EL). Other stocks mentioned: Lululemon (LULU), Whole Foods (WFM), Nordstrom (JWN), Panera (PNRA), Starbucks (SBUX), Michael Kors (KORS), Ralph Lauren (RL), Nike (NKE), Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS), Boulder Brands (BDBD), Hain (HAIN), Limited (LTD), TJX (TJX)
Quoting F. Scott Fitzgerald's observation that "the rich are different than the rest of us," Cramer revised his "Great Gatsby Index" formed on the thesis that the high-end will continue to perform well. The stocks include: Lululemon (LULU), Whole Foods (WFM), Nordstrom (JWN), Panera (PNRA), Starbucks (SBUX), Michael Kors (KORS), Ralph Lauren (RL). The index, with a 4.1% rise, is slightly trailing the S&P 500, which has risen 4.4%. Cramer decided to revamp the index which "didn't go far enough," by adding new stocks: Toll Brothers (TOL), Saks (SKS), Tiffany (TIF), Brunswick (BC), Coach (COH), Estee Lauder (EL). Cramer felt that the index needed exposure to more diverse aspects of the high-end sector.
Reviewing the first 7 stocks, Cramer said he thinks Whole Foods is bottoming, Starbucks is on a roll and Panera is performing well. Nordstrom is up only 1% for the year, but that is because of the investment management is making into new outlets. The company has seen a 6.3% rise in same store sales and double digit earnings and revenue growth. Saks management said the high-end is stabilizing, and Kors has pulled back because of a secondary offering. Lululemon is expanding its store count, but it is 11 points off its high and is heavily shorted. Ralph Lauren is down ten points, and Cramer thinks any of these stocks that have declined are worth buying.
Concerning the additions to the index, Coach is making the challenging transition from aggressive growth to value stock, and is 30 points off its high. Cramer thinks COH might take itself private or be bought. Tiffany has had a tough year, but the stock is roaring. Estee Lauder is seeing earnings growth in the mid-teens. Brunswick's stock is on fire, up 18% since the beginning of the year on strong demand for boats. Toll Brothers is a premium housing play, and although its quarter seemed disappointing, management reported that housing prices are up 16%, and orders rose 49%.
Cramer took some calls:
Nike (NKE) is a stock Cramer would stay away from because Dicks Sporting Goods (DKS) reported a weak quarter, and apparel was a soft spot. In addition, with uncertainties about China's economy, Nike seems like a stock to stay out of for now.
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