Cramer's Mad Money - LinkedIn's IPO Is Bad for the Market (5/19/11)

by: Miriam Metzinger

Stocks discussed on the in-depth session of Jim Cramer's Mad Money TV Program, Thursday May 19.

LinkedIn IPO (NYSE:LNKD), GameStop (NYSE:GME)

The LinkedIn (LNKD) IPO is bad for the market. Cramer isn't so negative about the company which has stable advertising and subscription revenues, but he feels that the shenanigans surrounding the IPO were reminiscent of the era. The IPO was priced at $45, opened at $83, rose to $122 and finally plummeted to $92. Only 7 million shares were offered in order to entice investors with the scarcity of shares and to make the stock "frothy"; that was intentional. The LinkedIn IPO is the kind of thing that "makes a mockery of capital raising and stock trading in this country." Cramer is worried about a return to the laissez faire era, when the authorities looked away when unscrupulous games were played with IPOs.

Cramer took a call:

Gamestop (GME): "Take some profits. This is tough tape...let's make some money. Let's take some off the table."

McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX), Yum Brands (NYSE:YUM), Domino's Pizza (NYSE:DPZ), Wendy's (NYSE:WEN), BRF-Brasil Foods (NYSE:BRFS), General Mills (NYSE:GIS)

Cramer discussed four international restaurant growth stories:

Starbucks (SBUX) ran into a wall in the U.S., but since 2008, the company has been focusing on improving existing stores rather than putting up new ones. Starbucks is taking its store expansion overseas with 400 new locations this year, a 7% growth. Starbucks plans to increase its locations in China from 400 to 1,500 by 2015. While Cramer regards CEO Howard Schultz as a "visionary," the Starbucks brand is untried and untested in many markets, and there is some doubt whether a $3 latte will resonate with customers in emerging markets. The stock has seen a $117 gain since Cramer got behind it in 2009 and trades at a multiple of 24 with an 18% growth rate. Cramer thinks Starbucks is more expensive than similar stocks, and is not endorsing it as an international growth play.

Domino's Pizza (DPZ) is the number one pizza delivery company in the U.S. with its improved recipe and website that allows customers to design their own pies. A full 47% of the company's revenues come from overseas, and Dominos is in 65 different markets, with room in the top 5 to double its footprint. The company has seen an incredible 8.3% increase in same store sales internationally. The stock has risen 136% since Cramer recommended it in January 2010 and up 14% since the CEO appeared on Mad Money two weeks ago. While Domino's has a great story, its brand is not as recognizable as its larger peers and the concept might take more time to "catch on" in emerging markets.

McDonald's (MCD) has enormous international exposure and strong marketing. MCD yields 3.3% and trades at 16 times earnings with a 10% growth rate. While Cramer likes McDonald's, it is not his top international restaurant growth pick.

Yum (YUM) is the king of overseas exposure with half of its profits coming from outside the U.S.; 36% of sales are from China, 36% are from the U.S. and 28% are from the rest of the world. It is estimated that in 2013, China will make up 42% of Yum's business. On the home front, Yum is expanding its high-margin Taco Bell franchise. Yum is Cramer's top restaurant pick of the day; it has the most upside from international markets with the least risk, and sells at a multiple of 19 with a 135 growth rate.

Cramer took some Calls:

Wendy's (WEN) is not best of breed. "We are buyers of best of breed. We are not going down the food chain. Life is too short." Cramer prefers McDonald's to Wendy's.

BRF-Brasil Foods (BRFS) is "not bad," but Cramer prefers General Mills (GIS).

CEO Interview: Marc Benioff, (NYSE:CRM) may have run up 500% since Cramer got behind it in 2008, but the stock has more room to run, since the cloud computing space is growing aggressively, and Salesforce is "king of the cloud." Cramer calls Salesforce a "disruptive tech" company which is making old-fashioned software increasingly irrelevant. Salesforce's market cap is $18 billion and could be worth much more.

CEO Marc Benioff says Salesforce's services are indispensable to companies who hope to compete in today's market place. Major mobile and social platforms, like Facebook, run on cloud computing. When asked about growing competition, Benioff replied that Salesforce has been in business for 12 years while Johnny-come-lately cloud plays lack experience and expertise.

" has got it," said Carmer. "Go read the quarter. It is terrific."

Hewlett Packard (NYSE:HPQ), Dell (NASDAQ:DELL), IBM (NYSE:IBM), Accenture (NYSE:ACN)

Cramer took a closer look at the curious case of Dell (DELL) versus Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), both of which reported quarters the analysts didn't expect. The Street was surprised that HPQ reported an awful quarter and cut its sales forecast for the rest of the year. Since then, 17 analysts have cut their price targets, and this was even after the stock price fell. Management didn't lack excuses, including alleged softness in outsourcing and business services. Funny, IBM (IBM) and Accenture (ACN) never mentioned such softness, nor did they blame the natural disaster in Japan, but HPQ did. Cramer wonders why the experts were so amazed at HPQ's weak quarter, given the decline in the consumer PC space and the fact that the company has done little to diversify. Cramer put Hewlett-Packard on the Sell Block.

Dell has an equal but opposite story, and reported a truly spectacular quarter to the amazement of analysts who belatedly upgraded the stock. Dell is back in the visionary mode of the 80s and 90s. Operating income grew 67%, a historic high and gross margins were 23.4%, the highest level since 1992. The company is moving away from personal computers and into the enterprise solutions space. It expects to get most of its revenue from companies, particularly data centers, rather than individual customers. Earnings for Dell are up 83% for the year and it raised $15.2 billion in cash. Its forecast for operating income growth is at 12-18%. Why didn't the analysts see Dell's victory coming? Dell has a secret recipe that Hewlett-Packard doesn't have; superior management. HPQ has lost its way since CEO Mark Hurd left, and Michael Dell is back in fighting mode.

Raise Margin Requirements for Oil

The silver bubble popped on the rise in margin requirements. Cramer wondered why the same thing wasn't done with oil. High oil prices hurt stocks, and if these prices are caused by artificial demand or hedge fund managers buying on borrowed money, they can be prevented. Cramer asked why margin requirements for oil shouldn't be raised to 50%; if they had been at this level, there is no way oil would have risen to $147 in 2008. Only brokers and exchanges would be mildly wounded by a rise in margin requirements, but without such a rise, the entire market is hurt.


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.