Stocks discussed on the in-depth session of Jim Cramer's Mad Money TV Program, Monday December 20.
Cramer stepped into the "blood-soaked trenches of Netflix" (NFLX) which has had a 223% run but in just three weeks, has suffered a 31% mauling by the bears. In a newsletter, analyst Whitney Tilson wrote a critique of the company, "Why We're Short Netflix." Whitney's comments received a spirited response on Seeking Alpha.com from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings: "Cover Your Short Position Now." Cramer applauded Hastings' bold defense of his company online; "I don't mind that he stood up for his business. He's a breath of fresh air. We need more CEOs like him."
Cramer thinks Netflix is a stock that is misunderstood by almost everyone. Even some shareholders think the company has its finger on a temporary trend. "Netflix is a game changer," said Cramer, "that is fundamentally changing the way we watch movies and television." Just a year ago, the emphasis was on Netflix's DVD by mail business. "No one knew how big streaming was going to be, " Cramer continued. Netflix should see 20 million subscribers by the end of the year and there is no competitor who can match the company's scale and growth. The number of subscribers has grown 52% in the past year, and Goldman Sachs predicts continued double digit subscriber growth into 2015 with a target of 50 million subscribers.
Currently, 23% of households with broadband use Netflix. Goldman Sachs thinks the number could reach 40%, and Cramer thinks this target will be reached sooner. Meanwhile, brick and mortar competitors like Blockbuster (BBI) are quickly closing stores. Not only does Cramer not think Netflix is too expensive, he thinks it is too cheap, with a 29% long-term growth rate. Even with a multiple of 47, the stock is still inexpensive, since it is one of the most aggressively growing stocks out there.
Its market cap is just $9.3 billion, and Cramer thinks it could be a growth story like Amazon (AMZN), which in a little over a decade, grew its market cap from $16 billion to $80 billion. Cramer would buy Netflix on any weakness, particularly for its long-term strength.
CEO Interview: Marty Mucci, Paychex (PAYX)
Nothing will determine the sustainability of the rally more than employment growth. While most people wait for statistics from the Labor Department, Cramer urged investors to pay attention to what payroll and staffing companies have to say. Paychex (PAYX) beat estimates by 2 cents and saw a checks per client increase of 2.3%. Paychex is growing through acquisitions, most notably the recent buyout of software company, SurePayroll.
CEO Marty Mucci, who took the reins in September, has seen an 11% rise in Paychex stock since he has been chief executive. He commented on the increase in checks per client for three quarters in a row after three years of no increases in this metric. Mucci reassured Cramer the 4% dividend is safe, and while it is not going to be increased soon, it will not decrease. Mucci says the acquisition of SurePayroll will encourage more employers to make the transition from manual to online payment. Concerning the job situation in general, Mucci told Cramer "it is certainly looking positive in a consistent way." Cramer would "take a shot" at Paychex.
There is plenty of talk about complacency in the market, but Cramer thinks fear and loathing is more characteristic of the mood surrounding stocks. It is a skittish market where everything can turn on a dime; "people have one foot out the door at all times."
For instance, Akamai (AKAM) ran up on Friday on a rumor that it might get taken over by Cisco (CSCO). When a deal failed to materialize, the stock sold off on Monday. Cramer noted that complacent markets do not produce discount sales in such good stocks. Acme Packet (APKT), a stock that has been "dynamite" was down $2 after a strong performance for the year. Selling was breeding selling and no one defended the stock. The concern was that Cisco was going to destroy it, but Cramer scoffed at the idea of such a laggard performer like Cisco inspiring such fear. People are despairing over Apple (APPL), but the stock is just marking time. Investors should see it as a gift; at least they don't have to chase it.
"This market is disliked pretty widely," said Cramer, but it is actually providing "opportunity after opportunity."
While others measure the dollar against the euro, Cramer's favorite weak dollar story is the mergers that can emerge from it. For instance, there is talk that Brazilian meat producer, JBS (JBSAY.PK) may acquire lackluster American brand Sara Lee (SLE). As emerging market conglomerates look for American companies to buy on the cheap, Cramer would be on the lookout for new takeover targets, such as Clorox (CLX) and buy them before they are bought out.
Jim Cramer was up 31% in 2009. Click here now to sign up for Jim's Action Alerts PLUS and trade alongside him. Special discount for Seeking Alpha users.
Get Cramer's Picks by email - it's free and takes only a few seconds to sign up.