Stocks discussed on the in-depth session of Jim Cramer's Mad Money TV Program, Thursday September 19.
Did the street have the right to bash Bernanke, who came out with more dovish than expected statements and indicated the Fed may not be in a hurry to dramatically decrease bond buying? While there has been some strength in the domestic economy, the impending government shutdown, which might be accompanied by another debt downgrade, may indicate that this isn't a good time to taper. Those who criticized Bernanke didn't realize that his move was forward-looking; impending government shutdowns wreak havoc with the market, and Bernanke wants to be prepared. Home Depot (HD), which is a "tell" for the economy, given its exposure to housing, dropped 10% even though it reported a good quarter. Why? The street seems to feel that this is HD's last good quarter for a while. Not only Bernanke, but individual companies, also see grey skies ahead.
Cramer took some calls:
CEO Interview: Alex Smith, Pier 1 Imports (NYSE:PIR)
Pier 1 Imports (PIR) has been moving up consistently since the recession, but it reported a rare earnings miss of 4 cents on lower than expected revenues and lowered guidance. The stock fell 13%. When Cramer asked is this an indication that housing-related retail is slowing because of worries of rising mortgage rates, CEO Alex Smith dismissed "outside forces" as responsible for the miss and insisted:
It was all on us ... Until I can say we executed flawlessly, I can't blame outside forces. We have to get our house in order.
Traffic in stores was down, particularly in the Northeast. Smith said one mistake PIR management made was that "we were overexcited with our online business," and dedicated more energy to driving people to the website than customers to the stores. PIR management plans to increase television advertising by 30% prior to the holidays. Cramer saluted Alex Smith for being "candid," and added he doubts PIR will have another down quarter next time.
5 Anointed Industrials: Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL), Pitney Bowes (NYSE:PBI), Boeing (NYSE:BA), Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT), Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC). Other stocks mentioned: US Airways (LCC), Navios Maritime (NYSE:NM), Diana Shipping (NYSE:DSX).
With the end of the year approaching, money managers are going to be buying winning stocks in various sectors to show their clients that their portfolios are stocked with solid names. Cramer discussed best performing industrial stocks that money managers may have their eye on. Most of these stocks are transports and defense names, and have been rising steadily.
Delta (DAL) is up 98%. Airlines have historically been plagued with competition, but recent consolidation has helped alleviate this problem. While it may be unlikely that US Airways (LCC) will be allowed to merge with American Airlines, DAL will still benefit from expanding margins, cost cutting and a high level of customer satisfaction. 2013 is likely to be DAL's most profitable year on record. It is replacing its fleet with more fuel-efficient planes and has been aggressively paying down its debt.
Pitney Bowes (PBI) is performing well for a company in an industry in secular decline. It had declined 50% the last 5 years, but raced up 70% for 2013. The company is a big player in snail mail and printing, but with new management, it is expanding into digital. The printing business is still a cash cow for PBI, mainly because it is the best-of-breed name in the industry. Cramer would only buy PBI on a pullback and with the knowledge that it is a long-term growth story.
Boeing (BA) has flourished in spite of problems with the Dreamliner. The plane has a backlog of orders until 2020, and BA has a convincing 20 year business plan. The company has cut costs substantially and, in spite of its run, trades at a multiple of only 16 with a 12% growth rate. Of all of these stocks, Cramer is the most bullish on BA.
Northrop Grumman (NOC) has risen 45%, in spite of worries about sequester. NOC has become a "lean mean fighting machine," and is retiring a quarter of its shares in a buyback.
Lockheed Martin (LMT), like NOC, is a defense play that has not been hurt by sequester. It has risen 41% and yields 3.6%.
Cramer took some calls:
Casino stocks have been red hot, and the supplier to casino operators, International Game Technology (IGT) has rallied 49% so far this year. The company has made smart acquisitions in social media gaming and is going to benefit from New Jersey's legalization of online gambling. IGT has developed its casino games for Facebook (FB), where players can experience the thrill of the games without using actual money. When asked how IGT is different from competitor Zynga (ZNGA) in the online gaming space, CEO Patti Hart says that IGT provides users with an "authentic Las Vegas experience." She added that many analysts don't understand the stock, because they view it as a bricks and mortar gambling play. However, the actual casinos are also a strong part of the business, and Hart thinks that gambling is increasing domestically and internationally. "This is a good story," Cramer said.
Confused Market: ConAgra (NYSE:CAG), General Mills (NYSE:GIS), Disney (NYSE:DIS), Travelers (NYSE:TRV), United Technologies (NYSE:UTX), 3M (NYSE:MMM), Emerson Electric (NYSE:EMR), Honeywell (NYSE:HON)
"Sometimes the market has no idea what to do, and this is one of those times," said Cramer. The street has decided the Fed is all-powerful, and mixed signals about tapering are making certain sectors volatile. On the Fed announcement, consumer packaged goods, like ConAgra (CAG) and General Mills (GIS), fell even though their earnings reports were decent. McDonald's 5% dividend boost didn't prevent it from getting hit. Homebuilders sold off a day after the market took them up. While home sales numbers are at a 6 year high, some feel that housing has had its "last hurrah." With the sense that consumer spending might improve, one wonders why Disney (DIS) sold off. It is hard to know what to do with financials; many were hit, but Travelers (TRV) moved up.
The solution is to invest in Fed-proof stocks that are levered to growth in Europe and China: United Technologies (UTX), 3M (MMM), Emerson (EMR), Honeywell (HON) and Boeing. Stocks that are down because of current rotation might be buys, but those that rose only because of the current volatility may be sells.
Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS: Trade right alongside a Wall Street pro! Start your 14-day FREE trial today.
Get Cramer's Picks by email - it's free and takes only a few seconds to sign up.