Stocks discussed on the in-depth session of Jim Cramer's Mad Money TV Program, Wednesday May 15.
Cree (CREE) is one of the most controversial stocks around. It rose 52% last year and has gained 78% so far this year. One analyst raised estimates from $62 to $73 on stronger demand for LED lights, while another analyst downgraded CREE from Buy to Neutral. Cramer confessed his rocky history with the stock. He recommended it in 2010, only to see it drop from $70 to $52 in six weeks. At that time, he apologized for having recommended it, but insists that now, Cree is a different company than it was a few years ago. The company is specializing more in popular LED lightbulbs and has made some accretive acquisitions.
So who is right, the bearish analyst or the bullish analyst? The bearish analyst based research on lighting distributors that indicate Cree is facing stiff competition, and clients are forced to choose between Cree and a competitor. The bullish analyst notes that Cree's bulbs are selling well at Home Depot (HD). Since the bearish analyst cast a wider net in the research, Cramer would give some credence to the downgrade, but noted that the analyst is also short-term bearish on Cree, and believes problems with competition will be resolved as demand for LED lights increases. Cramer likes Cree, but it trades at more than double its growth rate; it has a multiple of 33 and a growth rate of 16%. He says he hopes the short-term bearish case is correct so he can buy some and hold it for the long term. He isn't concerned about possibly making the same mistake again, because the demand for LED lights is now much greater than it was when he recommended the stock the first time around.
Cramer took some calls:
General Electric (GE) is a holding in Cramer's charitable trust. Cramer says he is disappointed in the company, but he thinks its prospects are improving.
It has been the best of times for Google (GOOG) and the worst of times for Apple (AAPL). Google has risen 29% since the beginning of the year, and Apple has fallen 19%. Morgan Stanley upgraded Google, but the Street has been giving Apple the silent treatment after the downgrades that followed its failed quarter. Apple did rise 80 points, but fell again in what looks like a dead cat bounce. Google is so far ahead of the competition with advertising, that it can charge high prices, Android is an ongoing success and the company is on the verge of finding a monetizing solution for YouTube, a business that could be worth $20 billion in revenues. Google trades at a multiple of 20 with an 18% growth rate. Many packaged goods companies trade for the same multiple with a fraction of the growth rate.
What is the next big thing for Apple (which Cramer owns for his charitable trust)? Who knows? While it is not a certainty that Apple deserves to be lower, there is no information to give investors hope that it will recover any time soon.
Cramer took some calls:
YRC Worldwide (YRCW) is sizzling along with other truckers, but Cramer doesn't want to take a risk.
Toyota (TM) is most likely going higher, because Japan is devaluing the yen.
Last season, there was a dearth of M&A activity because too many CEOs were frightened of taxes and sequestration. As a result, most executives missed out on great deals that could have transformed their companies; now it is too late to buy. Prescient as always, Warren Buffett added Heinz to Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A), (BRK.B) for what now appears to be a "steal." Liberty Media (LMCA) was wise to buy Virgin Media, and Eaton (ETN) acquired competitor Cooper Industries. Eaton CEO Sandy Cutler knew there could be slow growth ahead, and instead of cowering, he took control. IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) bought NYSE Euronext, and is now the largest exchange. Kinder Morgan (KMP) made two acquisitions: El Paso and Copano, and both have been immediately additive to value. These examples show that CEOs need to have the courage to buy before the opportunities fade.
CEO Interview: Herbjorn Hansson, Nordic American Tankers (NAT)
The tanker industry has been a bad place to be for the last few years. A turn looks even less likely, given poor data out of China and the increase in U.S. drilling, which makes oil imports less necessary. Nordic American Tankers (NAT) is the best stock in a terrible sector. The company reported lower than expected earnings, but rates were up slightly. CEO Herbjorn Hansson explained that he is buying ships because they are cheap, and he does think the industry will turn around. Cramer was less optimistic, commenting that tankers have been weak now for many years. "If you think tankers are going to turn," said Cramer. "This is the one. If you don't, I can't say that I blame you."
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