Sporting a market cap of just under $325 million, The Street.com (TSCM) is a small cap in a formerly hot sector, with a quality balance sheet, and a unique story to tell. In other words it's a trifecta! If I was to sum up the story of TSCM in one word, I'd have to say: Cramer. And -- this I hope is clear if you're reading this blog -- I'm not referring to the Seinfeld character.
Jim Cramer, the co-founder and largest individual shareholder of TSCM, has become a cottage industry unto himself. With two best-selling investment hardcovers and the immensely popular Mad Money program on CNBC, he has positioned himself as a major commodity. Millions of people love, listen, and invest along with Mr. Cramer. Love him or hate him, his persona shines so brightly it would be fair to say he's reached star status. And the beneficiaries of Mr. Cramer's luminescence will be the shareholders of the website where his online content resides exclusively.
I suspect that TSCM would have garnered several mentions as an uncovered investment possibility by Mr. Cramer already had he not been clearly excluded from "pumping" his company by his employers. It's a clear conflict of interest. So he can't mention the stock favorably. Unfortunate perhaps for his viewers as the shares have nearly doubled in the last 52 weeks and seem to still have a significant way to go. But while Mr. Cramer can not recommend TSCM formerly, he does mention the company quite frequently. His fan base knows that if you want to read him, you must visit TheStreet.com. And that fan base absolutely reads him. They're coming to TSCM in droves while the company reaps serious economic benefit from it's association with such a major media figure.
In last quarter's conference call, the company highlighted the fact that TSCM carries no significant debt, trades at under 20 times forward earnings, and is estimated by (no pun intended) "the street" to grow at 20% annually. Sounds pretty good to me. But many are unconvinced. I believe buyers have trepidations due to the fact that the company was a high-flier in the bygone internet bubble days. And many got burned in the crash. In the aftermath, many aren't certain how to price a content-providing dot com. In fact, they're underpricing it significantly. Meanwhile earnings growth is tremendous, and the site is leveraging the star power of Mr. Cramer quite effectively. In fact, the ubiquity of Mr. Cramer's presence on the TheStreet.com is one of the few negatives associated with this story. If he becomes overexposed the backbone of this thesis crumbles.
However, I believe it is far more likely that TSCM will continue to show solid growth, maintain (or eventually raise) its stabilizing dividend, and provide content for the Cramer-loving crowd. I think the stock is seriously undervalued at around $12. In fact, I'm already sold on the story and I think it's only a matter of time before the street comes around on TheStreet.com. There's a lot of upside in this puppy.
As Mr. Cramer might say, "Boooo-Yeahhhhh!!!"
Disclosure: I own shares of TSCM.
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TSCM 1-yr chart