Cramer's Mad Money - Don't Do Anything (12/18/09)

by: Miriam Metzinger

Stocks discussed on the in-depth session of Jim Cramer's Mad Money TV Program, Friday December 18.

Nike (NYSE:NKE), Under Armour (NYSE:UA), General Mills (NYSE:GIS), (NYSE:CRM), Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL), Darden (NYSE:DRI), Research in Motion (RIM), CarMax (NYSE:KMX)

Cramer suggests investors bend a cardinal Mad Money rule; instead of taking profits on gains, he would let stocks run until the end of the year. Why? There is little reason to think that stocks will fall between now and the New Year. First, the S&P 500 is up over 20% this year and that has happened exactly 7 times in the last 20 years. Out of the 7 times this happened, only once did the market decline the last two weeks of the year. Second, hedge fund managers want to prove to their clients that they are keeping up with the S&P 500 and will want to expand their holdings in stronger stocks. Analysts don't want to upset hedge fund managers, so they are unlikely to downgrade stocks the next couple of weeks, and given the companies scheduled to report, like General Mills (GIS) which will likely report strong numbers, the odds are against downgrades.

Concerning the coming week's earnings reports, General Mills (GIS) is expected to show strength in the food and beverage group. CarMax's (KMX) sales are up which means the company needs to beef up its inventory. Cramer would buy (CRM) following Oracle's (ORCL) quarter and Under Armour (UA) on Nike's report.

The only bad news Cramer expects is from the doom and gloom media, which might make cynical remarks about the pace of holiday shopping or foreclosures, but such bearish reporting is typical. Basically, Cramer's game plan is to do nothing; “If history’s any judge,” he said, “you can have a happy and profitable holiday season simply by letting others make money for you.”

CEO Interview: Keith Jackson, ON Semiconductor (ONNN), California MicroDevices (CAMD)

Cramer feels that his mobile internet tsunami thesis has been defended by the success of companies like ON Semiconductor, which has risen 43% since his recommendation in May. However, the question now is whether to hold onto ON or to let go? Cramer thinks the company has further to run and is not worried, as some critics are, about ON's offer to pay a 54% premium for California MicroDevices (CAMD). Keith Jackson explained the company thrives on its growth in Asia and its ability to sell more units by offering lower prices ahead of the market. California MicroDevices will benefit ON which will be able to sell CAMD's devices at a lower cost. Jackson says the company has been using extra cash to buy back stock, make acquisitions and recently, to buy back high interest bonds to clear the balance sheet. Cramer thinks ON is not finished going up.

MetroPCS (PCS), Leap Wireless International (LEAP), Sprint (NYSE:S), AT&T (NYSE:T), Verizon (NYSE:VZ)

Can a stock that is down 50% for the year still be a winner? Cramer thinks so, if the negativity is excessive and if there is upside potential. This $7 stock (which at one time was at $40) used to dominate the pre-paid wireless market along with Leap Wireless International (LEAP), but with Sprint (S), AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) moving in, increased competition looks grim for the company. However, there is a limit to how low pre-paid wireless subscriptions can go according to costs at each company; a subscription is not sustainable at less than $35. MetroPCS is still taking market share, and even in the worst case scenario of a price war, may still rise 22%. Cramer would buy MetroPCS as a speculation play, especially amid the end of the year selling to avoid taxes.

Wall of Shame: C. Dowd Ritter, Regions Financial (NYSE:RF), Wes Edens, Fortress Financial Group (NYSE:FIG)

C. Dowd Ritter is finally retiring after “his catastrophic tenure as the CEO of Regions" during which he saw the stock price fall 86%. He will be remembered for taking his family on a private vacation on the company jet almost immediately after accepting $3.5 billion in TARP money. Wes Edens of Fortress Financial Group (FIG) will be occupying the spot vacated by Ritter. Cramer thinks private equity in general has a knack for messing up IPOs, but his main complaint against Edens is his refusal to pay a dividend for the sixth straight quarter. Edens is "wrecking shareholder value" and "should take a cue from C. Dowd Ritter" and take a permanent vacation (without the company jet).


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