Stocks discussed on the in-depth session of Jim Cramer's Mad Money TV Program, Wednesday June 29.
Cramer discussed the caffeinated bull market in coffee. When McDonald's (MCD) unveiled its own high-end coffee product, there were fears that it would take market share from the main coffee players, but recently, Starbucks (SBUX) and Peet's Coffee & Tea (PEET) have hit 52 week highs, and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) is flirting with its 52 week high. Cramer discussed major coffee plays and rated his favorites.
Starbucks (SBUX) was lagging in 2009 in a glut of store locations, but when management announced that it would reduce its store count and concentrate on revamping its core locations, Cramer got behind the stock, which has seen a gain of 109% since. Starbucks is still a valued home away from home or the office for many of its customers. The company is expanding in Asia, with 400 stores in China and a projected 1,500 locations in the Middle Kingdom by 2015. Starbucks sells at a multiple of 22 with an 18% growth rate. Cramer thinks Starbucks remains best of breed.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is like an ETF of the single serve coffee market. When it introduced its Keurig, which is in 7-9% of homes in the U.S., single serve represented only 2% of the coffee market, but the number is now in the mid-teens. The company generates most of its sales through the K-Cups which customers need to continue buying, and this business model has grown its gross margins dramatically. The company has a multiple of 23 with a 30% growth rate.
Caribou Coffee is Cramer's speculative coffee pick, with 540 locations. The company is working hard to localize its brand and expanding its store count. The stock is inexpensive given its 21% growth rate and multiple of 28.
Peet's Coffee & Tea is the one major coffee player Cramer does not recommend. Instead of growing its locations, the company is expanding its packaged products, which are high-quality, but lack exposure to the single-serve market. The stock is expensive and trades at 33 times earnings with an 18% growth rate.
Reiterating his enthusiasm for natural gas, Cramer spoke with CEO David Demers of Westport Innovations (WPRT). The company announced a deal with General Motors (GM) to produce natural gas engines for GM's cars. The stock jumped 11% on the news. While critics of the deal have said that it will be 36 months before GM will produce a natural gas engine, Demers said that 36 months is a realistic target for the auto industry, since it takes time and effort to design a new kind of car. Westport also has signed deals with major engine makers, including Cummins (CMI) and Caterpillar (CAT). The stock has risen 100% since Cramer got behind it in January 2010 and has risen 22% since the CEO appeared on Mad Money on June 8.
Responding to criticism that natural gas engines may not be cheaper than diesel, Demers said the engines themselves are cheaper, but natural gas fuel tanks cost slightly more. However, with increased production, the price of natural gas fuel tanks are declining and should continue to go lower. Given the low cost of the actual fuel, natural gas engines provide a "promising payback," said Demers. Currently the government is encouraging the production of electric cars, but Demers says this plan involves difficulties, since the grid cannot currently support a huge influx of electric vehicles. He added that the bulk of Westport's revenues come from business fleets which are not going to be replaced with electric vehicles.
What the Government Can Do About Oil Prices
Cramer has a 3-step plan to bring down oil prices: First, the U.S. government should sell futures of Brent crude against petroleum reserves. Second, margin rates should be raised to shake out non-consumer orders. Third, the government should lay down the law about prices at the pump. Currently, the U.S. is awash in oil, but the price remains too high. The commodity is being manipulated by financial buyers, and raising margin requirements would remedy this.
An even better solution, according to Cramer, is the adoption of natural gas over electric, but since the natural gas industry has been a whipping boy lately, this is unlikely to happen.
"We are being financially suicidal, not to mention naive...and we deserve better."
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.