Stocks discussed on the in-depth session of Jim Cramer's Mad Money TV Program, Tuesday March 23.
Raining on the Bears' Parade of Horribles: KB Home (NYSE:KBH), Vale (NYSE:VALE), Freeport McMoRan (NYSE:FCX), BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP), Bucyrus (NASDAQ:BUCY), Joy Global (JOYG), Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), Walter Energy (NYSE:WLT), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), RF Micro Devices (RFMD), San Disk (NASDAQ:SNDK), Cree (NASDAQ:CREE), Xilinx (NASDAQ:XLNX), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Big Lots (NYSE:BIG), Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN), Saks (NYSE:SKS), Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR)
The bulls rained on the bears' anticipated "parade of horribles" with the Dow's march up 103 points. All the bears' doomsday predictions turned out to be daydreams and the shorts ran for cover. Commercial real estate is not collapsing, but KB Homes (KBH) indicated that housing prices are finally stabilizing, even in troubled California. REITs are hitting 52 week highs.
While there were rumors of a cutback in Chinese demand and a huge burst for its bubble, it is now clear that the Chinese are "buying everything." This is good news for VALE (VALE), Freeport McMoRan (FCX), BHP Billiton (BHP), Bucyrus (BUCY), Joy Global (JOYG) and Caterpillar (CAT). Walter Energy (WLT) is a great play on metallurgical coal, and Cramer says it should be bought even after its 5 point rise.
In spite of predictions of a tech decline, the sector showed substantial gains in the first quarter; "This would be the first time I've seen that in 11 years," said Cramer. Star tech performers include: Intel (INTC), RF Micro Devices (RFMD), San Disk (SNDK), Cree (CREE), Xilinx (XLNX), Microsoft (MSFT), Oracle (ORCL) and of course Apple (AAPL), which is on the verge of releasing "the most important product, not just in Apple's history, but perhaps in tech's history... the iPad."
While healthcare was the national obsession, new taxes aren't going to be a threat until 2011. The consumer has been set free from paying mortgages and layoffs seem to have peaked. Strong performance in Big Lots (BIG), Saks (SKS), Dollar Tree (DLTR) and Nordstrom (JWN) show that high-end and discount retailers alike are seeing more business.
Cramer concluded by saying he thinks the bears made a mistake coming out of hibernation early and should return to their dens for a spring slumber.
Know Your IPO: First Interstate BancSystem (NASDAQ:FIBK)
Cramer's rule of thumb is not to buy an IPO in the open market or after hours but to try to get in on the actual deal. He is making an exception to this rule in the case of First Interstate BancSystem (which will trade under the symbol FIBK). The Street is still not so excited about financials, and news of this IPO has had such a lukewarm reception that Cramer thinks it can be bought even after Thursday morning.
The bank has $5.8 million in deposits, $4.5 billion in loans and 72 branches in the Pacific Northwest, an area of low unemployment relative to the rest of the country. Cramer likes the fact First Interstate BancSystem stated its book value at $16 when it is selling at the $14-$16 range. "When you buy a bank at book value," Cramer quoted legendary fund manager Peter Lynch, "You are getting it for a steal." He likes the bank's secure loans, its initial dividend of 3% and its available cash that can be used to make acquisitions. "At $16 or below, I think this tortoise should end up being a big winner for the patient person's portfolio."
To paraphrase legendary economist John Maynard Keynes, when the facts change the best thing to do is to change your mind. Cramer says he has changed his bullish position on Google (GOOG) after reducing his target on the stock from $750 to $700 in January when its battle with the Chinese government began. Now that Google is suspending operations in China, it is time to rethink the stock and its Chinese counterpart, Baidu (BIDU).
Looking at the technicals, it is clear that Google was trending higher in mid-December, but in mid-January, the stock gapped down; it could continue to fall until about $520. If Google drops below $500, it will be in freefall, says Cramer. Baidu's chart indicates it is consolidating, and Cramer predicts a close above $600 will mean the next leg of a long-term rally for Baidu.
While Google's initial loss in China doesn't seem that severe, just 1-2% of revenues, long-term, its staying out of China could be disastrous; internet advertising growth in China is expected to grow from $3 billion in 2009 to anywhere from $15 to $20 billion in 2014. Cramer would not sell Google, but buy it only on a pullback. Baidu is going to take 53% of Google's lost revenue in China, but even though Baidu has already increased substantially in the past few months, there are still compelling reasons to buy: it is the top Chinese internet company and therefore basically owns future internet growth in the country.
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