Cramer's Mad Money - Buybacks That Matter, Buybacks That Don't (3/5/14)

by: Miriam Metzinger

Stocks discussed on the in-depth session of Jim Cramer's Mad Money TV Program, Wednesday March 5.

Buybacks That Matter, Buybacks That Don't: Exxon (NYSE:XOM), Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), AutoZone (NYSE:AZO), Disney (NYSE:DIS), Time Warner Cable (TWC), CBS (NYSE:CBS)

Some buybacks create shareholder value and some function merely to prop up a failing stock. Exxon (XOM) had a disappointing analyst meeting, and the stock fell 3%. Exxon has been buying back stock in a haphazard fashion, but reducing the share count hasn't helped the stock price that much; Exxon's competitors are seeing larger gains through earnings, not buybacks. Cisco has bought back 10% of the float, but it is underperforming. AutoZone (AZO) has one of the most successful buybacks of any company Cramer follows, because its performance reflects the strength of the buyback. AZO provides buying opportunities, because it tends to get hit every time it reports. Media companies, Disney (DIS) and Time Warner Cable (TWC), also have effective buybacks.

A Bit Frothy, But Not a Crisis: Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). Other stocks mentioned: Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI), SodaStream (NASDAQ:SODA), PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP), Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT).

While the market may be described as frothy, Cramer doesn't see the kind of crisis that occurred over a decade ago. While Tesla (TSLA) and Netflix (NFLX) may be overvalued on earnings, and Amazon (AMZN) has seen a huge gain, these momentum stocks should be measured by revenue growth, not earnings. Google (GOOG) and Facebook (FB) are stocks that are actually earning money, not like the hyped-up dot.coms of yesteryear. True, there are some overheated biotechs and cloud plays that might have more fizz than substance, but Cramer is not seeing the market overcrowded with these companies. There may be froth, but there is no reason to panic.

Cramer took some calls:

Sirius XM Radio (SIRI): "You want to own it. People don't understand the power of this. It has great management, it is doing great things, stay patient. Stay long."

SodaStream (SODA): Cramer would be cautious about SodaStream because of worries about competition and because he doesn't think PepsiCo (PEP) is going to buy a stake.

Plug Power (PLUG) has a Wal-Mart (WMT) contract, and others will want to do deals with PLUG. Cramer would not sell the stock yet.

CEO Interview: Marc Casper, Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE:TMO)

Cramer called Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO) the "arms dealer" to biotech and pharma companies. TMO is the main supplier of equipment for research, and around 75% of its products are consumable, which generate more sales, since they require new purchases. TMO also has a diagnostics as well as a food and environmental safety segment. China is already TMO's second largest market, because of the demand in the country for improvements in the environment and food safety. The Life Science acquisition will improve the company's exposure to genome technology. While sequestration was a headwind, improvement in Europe is a tailwind, and TMO keeps taking market share. "This one is not just going higher," said Cramer, "but much higher."


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